RUDY LOPEZ - EXECUTIVE CHEF
Born and raised in Southern California, Lopez’s passion for cooking started with his love for travel visiting his mother’s native Spain and his father’s family in Guatemala. He landed his first job in a professional kitchen after culinary school with chef Kerry Simon followed by a coveted position cooking with renowned chef José Andrés at Mi Casa restaurant in Puerto Rico.
Returning to Los Angeles, Lopez earned positions alongside chef Ricardo Zarate and with hospitality groups including SoHo House and the h.wood Group where he continued to hone his craft and gain experience cooking in high volume kitchens. In 2017, Lopez joined world renowned chef Daniel Humm to open the Los Angeles outpost of the NoMad Restaurant that garnered critical and popular acclaim. In his Executive Chef role at Soulmate, Lopez is excited to share the Spanish/Mediterranean culinary narrative with his signature blend of bold flavors and fastidious technique. When he’s not in the kitchen, he enjoys spending time with his wife and toddler son.
NAOMI SCHIMEK - BAR DIRECTOR
Few careers have run the gamut of different bar scenes like Schimek’s: while taking her very first shift behind the bar on her 21st birthday, she has made her way through fine dining restaurants, dive bars and nightclubs. Upon arrival in Los Angeles, Schimek started in small restaurants, but it wasn’t until a dive bar in Koreatown gave her the opportunity to explore a menu of her own creations did she garner the recognition that launched her cocktail career.
Developing her craft at the Tar Pit in Mid City, Schimek’s talents earned significant media coverage and led her to landing the Beverage Director position at the Spare Room in Hollywood’s palace of swank celebrity, the Roosevelt Hotel, where she is credited for helping to put Los Angeles on the map as a world-class cocktail destination.
Schimek recently jumped back into the local bartending arena after spending a large part of the last decade traversing the globe as a brand ambassador and guest bartender. Now, she hopes to impart her vision on the Soulmate bar and play upon the natural effervescence of the space: a list of light and bright cocktails featuring plenty of bubbles, California native plants and tropical nuances.
She likes old cars, new dresses and rock n’ roll.
Soulmate is a gathering place for the community of West Hollywood offering Spanish Mediterranean food over a live fire, where chef Rudy Lopez crafts a menu of inspired dishes that emphasize Southern California’s seasonality.
The bar experience, taking its cues from the restaurant’s open-air layout, and designed by Sean Leffers Interiors, features a diverse list of vibrant cocktails imbued with flavors from local herbs and fruits. Soulmate’s extensive wine list boasts a robust selection of sparkling options from vintage and grower champagne to varietals from emerging winemakers, offered both by the bottle and glass.
NICK SHULTZ - GENERAL MANAGER
Hailing from the Midwest, Nick’s first job was a busser at a local restaurant outside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He migrated to Los Angeles after graduating from Northwestern University and began his career in hospitality at the iconic Hotel Bel Air with Wolfgang Puck. After working in more than seven restaurants within the Wolfgang Puck portfolio in both Los Angeles and Las Vegas, Shultz went on to work with venerable hospitality and culinary experts Suzanne Goin, Gino Angelini and Alain Ducasse.
During his career Shultz discovered his passion for wine, becoming a sommelier and dedicating himself to the passion and pursuit of creating wine lists that celebrate excellence and raise voices of emerging talent. He spent three years with chef Sang Yoon at Lukshon, helping the restaurant earn the #3 rank on the Los Angeles Times ‘101 Best Restaurants’ list.
Soulmate represents a culmination of Shultz’s experience in the Los Angeles restaurant landscape, and he is excited to work in the neighborhood he’s called home for last 10 years. As a big supporter of West Hollywood and what it represents, Nick spends his time discovering new and exciting restaurants, playing tennis, and going to the beach as much as possible.