Who's Who of Professional Women


Nikki Skipper

As the owner and chef of Tommyknocker’s Cornish Pasty in Port Townsend, Washington, Nikki Skipper thrives in a dynamic, fast-paced restaurant environment amid her bottomless responsibilities of taking orders from an eager dining public, communicating with her sous chef, overseeing operations, and much more.

Ms. Skipper prefers to work in a highly hands-on capacity, ensuring that the kitchen runs smoothly, and occasionally assists with cooking. Attributing her success to her persistence and tirelessness, she enjoys pushing through any challenges to run her restaurant and cater events. Among the achievements she considers most notable at the helm of Tommyknocker’s Cornish Pasty is winning the Best Restaurant Award for two consecutive years. Above all, however, she is dedicated and loyal to her team, and they reciprocate. While other restaurants were facing hardships, closing or reducing staff, Ms. Skipper made a conscious effort to hire and support individuals in need. She is proud of and grateful for the positive impact she has had on the lives of her team members.

Laying solid foundations, while pursuing higher education, in 2013, Ms. Skipper secured invaluable early experience as an intern cook in Maine. In 2014, she graduated from De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde with a bachelor’s degree in hotel, restaurant, and institution management. Throughout her experience in the restaurant industry, Ms. Skipper worked as a cook and pastry chef for the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort and Spa in Colorado. She also was a cook for the Four Seasons Resort and Residences Vail and advanced from the role of cook to chef de cuisine with Fort Worden in Port Townsend, Washington. She has spent more than five years as the owner and executive chef of Tommyknocker’s Cornish Pasty, where she applies her global culinary knowledge to offer a diverse and delicious menu to her customers. Ms. Skipper focuses on environmental sustainability and sources organic, high-quality ingredients from local suppliers. Her appetizing creations have earned additional accolades, including Best Soup, Best Lunch Special, Best Salad, and Best Chowder in Jefferson County, the last title of which she held for four years.

When she is not working to ensure the success of Tommyknocker’s Cornish Pasty by creating delicious dishes and supporting her team, Ms. Skipper enjoys traveling and tasting food from around the world, having visited 25 countries, including Peru, Japan, England, Spain, France, Italy, and Australia and elsewhere. She shares the love of travel with her husband, who has been to even more worldwide locations. Discovering new places and immersing herself in local cultures and cuisines gives Ms. Skipper constant inspiration for her restaurant. Reflecting her international perspective, the menu at Tommyknocker’s Cornish Pasty boasts a diverse range of options that cater to all her customers’ dietary needs, including gluten-free and vegan dishes. She has always instilled in her team the importance of accommodating customers with allergies or special requirements, going above and beyond to ensure that every visitor can enjoy a meal at the restaurant.

Active in caring for her community, Ms. Skipper has supported and donated to her local food bank, the Rotary Club, and Olympic Pride – all while running a small business and raising a family, maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Times were not always so fruitful for her. As an immigrant from the Philippines, Ms. Skipper experienced discrimination and recalls always being given the lowest positions at first, yet she was able to prove herself through hard work. Growing up, she was inspired by her mother, who did everything she could for her children and always cared about others. Ms. Skipper hopes to pay forward the success she has achieved and inspire other Filipina immigrants in her community to find their own happiness and realize their dreams.


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