The Flavor of Flow

Chef Gason Nelson and His Passion for Cooking

Krista Stryker
13 min readFeb 28, 2024
Illustration by Mihajlo Stojanovic

“If there’s ever a time I walk into the kitchen and I don’t feel like I want to be there, I know it’s time to stop. And that has never happened.” — Chef Gason Nelson

This article was originally published on my Substack newsletter, On Fire, which profiles the most passionate people in the world. You can subscribe for free here.

Gason Nelson looks around to make sure no one is watching. He turns on the TV and flips it to his favorite channel. On the screen, Julia Child gracefully whisks a perfect béchamel. Nelson is transfixed as she transforms the butter, flour, and milk into the classic white sauce.

“Boy, every time I turn around, you watchin’ them cooking shows,” his dad’s voice cuts through the room, jolting him back to reality. Nelson quickly shuts off the TV. He knows his interests aren’t those of the typical 11-year-old boy, but he can’t help it. While his peers are outside riding bikes and playing basketball, Nelson is contemplating the secret to a perfect chili.

Today Chef Gason Nelson is known for his passion for the intricacies and details of the culinary process. A two-time James Beard Scholar, Nelson has earned…



Krista Stryker

Performance coach, writer, and athlete. I write about how you can experience personal transformation through movement and exercise.