James Beard Award Finalist Nominee,
Best Chef NY 2022
Before bringing Shukette to life, chef/partner Ayesha Nurdjaja earned a devoted following for her vibrant Eastern Mediterranean fare at Shuka in SoHo, which she opened in 2015 after meeting Vicki Freeman and Marc Meyer. A Brooklyn native of Italian-Indonesian heritage, Ayesha's entrepreneurial spirit first led her to pursue a business degree at Pace University. Shortly after receiving her degree, Ayesha realized food was her true passion and subsequently enrolled in the Institute of Culinary Education. She has worked at various NYC restaurants including Lidia Bastianich’s Felidia, Bar Aristinal, Picholine and Missy Robbins’ A Voce as well as Il Bordello and Red Gravy in Brooklyn as executive chef.
Chef Ayesha Nurdjaja
Nikki Ledbetter was born and raised in Marietta, Georgia and has a B.F.A from Maryland Institute College of Art in photography. Entering the restaurant industry in New York to support her career of freelance photography, she fell in love with the passion and energy of the people around her. From her first job as an expeditor at a Thai restaurant to joining the team at the original Craftbar, she began to translate the drive of the people around her into her own desire to learn all she could about food and wine. After eventually taking over as Beverage Director at Craftbar Nikki set out to explore the rest of the industry, taking on roles as a wine rep, and putting in time at Trestle on Tenth, LINCOLN, Casa Apicii, and Upland. Most recently she left travelled to New Zealand to work her first harvest and recently returned to New York City where she is now excited to be a member of the opening team at Shukette.
A child of restaurant parents, Tim Harris grew up near Melbourne, Australia. A graduate of the Blue Mountains Hotel School, Harris spent 10 years working at the top of the Melbourne hospitality scene before moving to New York in 2007 where he became operations manager of the MooLife Group of Australian bars & restaurants.
In 2013 Harris opened & operated neighborhood hotspots Burke & Wills and The Manhattan Cricket Club on new York City's Upper West Side to much critical acclaim.
In 2019 Harris joined The Bowery Group of restaurants where he oversees the bar programs for five diverse and vibrant concepts - creating unique cocktails and sourcing products from small sustainable producers. When Tim's not behind the bar, he enjoys traveling, golf, and spending time with his family.
The Bowery Group
The Bowery Group, a James Beard Award Nominated (Outstanding Restaurateur, 2022) is run by Vicki Freeman, Marc Meyer, Anna-Marie McCullagh, and Chris Paraskevaides, and is comprised of market-driven restaurants including Cookshop, Vic’s, Rosie’s, and Shuka. Each restaurant showcases the season’s bounty through vibrant, ingredient-driven cuisine with an emphasis on local and sustainable sourcing. This summer, The Bowery Group welcomes their newest restaurant in Chelsea called Shukette, inspired by dynamic restaurants throughout the Levant by chef/partner Ayesha Nurdjaja.