Chef Spence, a Culinary Institute of America alumnus, was born in Kingston, Jamaica. Opened in 2003, Ripe was Mr. Spence’s first entrepreneurial endeavor outside of a road side “jerk shack” that helped put him through school.
As part of the CIA’s intense and exclusive training program, Nigel interned at the Television Food Network. After graduating in 1997, Nigel was asked to stay on at the network which he did for approximately 3 years. TVFN afforded Nigel the opportunity to work with culinary luminaries such as Mario Batali, Bobby Flay and Emeril Lagasse.
Chef Spence has appeared on Throwdown with Bobby Flay where he emerged the victor in a jerk cook off against the Food Network star, and later went up for battle with Bobby Flay yet again on Re-Match On The Grill, a one-hour TV Food Network special, filmed at the prestigious Biltmore Hotel and Resort in Miami. He has also made special appearances on The Today Show on WNBC (NY), Tony's Table on WCBS (NY), Neighborhood Eats, on WABC (NY), and Martha Stewart's Living Today. He was also featured on the award winning in-flight program Island Stylee on Jamaica’s national airline, Air Jamaica. Chef Spence made another appearance on TV Food Network in their latest competition series, Chopped. The show made its debut on the Food Network, where he was again pitted against three other Executive chefs in a grueling cooking competition.