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Chicago, IL

Forum Post Count:


Join Date:


Last Online:

22 hours, 38 minutes ago

Culinary Experience

Former Chef

About Me:

I worked professionally in the culinary field for a total of sixteen years. As a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, I have worked in a variety of places, both in the U.S. and overseas.

I first started out in one of my uncle's restaurant at the age of thirteen. Beginning as a bus boy and dish washer, and continued to work in various restaurants until I graduated high school. It was after high school that I considered a professional career in the culinary industry. After completing a one-year Biblical studies program at Emmaus Bible College in Dubuque, Iowa, I decided to attend the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. While at the Culinary Institute, I spent five months at the Four Seasons Hotel in Chicago.

Upon graduating from the Culinary Institute, I started working at Printer's Row in Chicago. While at Printers Row, I followed another passion, ice sculpture at Nadeau's Ice Sculptures in Forest Park.

My ultimate goal as a cook was to gain some European training. I decided to travel overseas where I spent two years working in four different countries. Starting off in Bourg en Bress, France, working for Chef Jacques Guy. After France, I moved on to Geneva, Switzerland, where he studied Swiss pastries and chocolates under the guidance of Heniz Hochwahr at Patisserie Mage. From Geneva, I went to the island of Santorini, Greece, where he worked at the restaurant, Selene with George and Evelyn Haziyannakis. The final part of my training was spent in the small town of Polesenine, Italy, at the Restuarant El Cavallino Bianco, working with Chef Massimo Spigarola.

When I returned to the States, I worked in various places in Chicago but felt that it was time to take a break from the rigorous culinary life and go back to school. I received my bachelors degree in computer programming and quickly became interested in web development. It was in 1999 that I started ChefTalk.com and it has been going strong ever since.

Interests (Hobbies, favorite activities, etc.):

Cooking (duh), growing my own food, making things from scratch (yogurt, bacon, applesauce, etc), reading (bible (born again Christian), Lord Of The Rings), hunting (upland game mostly), travel, Greece (where my father's family originates).

What I do for a living:

I work as a web user interface developer (I create web sites).

Nicko's Recent Activity

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Website question
Nicko posted in this thread in Site Feedback & Suggestions 11/23/15 at 5:49am | 4 replies | 37 views
Searing Frozen Ahi Filets
Nicko posted in this thread in Food & Cooking 11/20/15 at 5:21am | 1 replies | 56 views
White Castle Turkey Stuffing
Nicko posted in this thread in Food & Cooking 11/20/15 at 5:15am | 8 replies | 106 views
Ad Hoc at Home - Thomas Keller.
Nicko posted in this thread in Cookbook Reviews 11/19/15 at 5:44am | 1 replies | 47 views
making a good pizza at home
Nicko posted in this thread in Food & Cooking 11/17/15 at 9:40am | 13 replies | 299 views
Nicko posted in this thread in New User Introductions 11/2/15 at 5:41am | 1 replies | 34 views
An Introduction!
Nicko posted in this thread in New User Introductions 11/2/15 at 5:40am | 1 replies | 15 views
Today's apple tart.
Nicko posted in this thread in Pastries & Baking 10/27/15 at 7:39am | 11 replies | 251 views
Hello from the Show Me State
Nicko posted in this thread in New User Introductions 10/22/15 at 5:56am | 1 replies | 21 views
Nicko posted in this thread in New User Introductions 10/22/15 at 5:55am | 1 replies | 18 views


Nicko’s Photos

Le Cordon Bleu Paris Bread Making Class
70 photos
Latest upload: Mar 28, 2014
Nicko's photos in ChefTalk Gatherings
59 photos
Latest upload: Apr 2, 2013
Nicko's photos in Spit Roasting
33 photos
Latest upload: Feb 16, 2010
Shore Lunch
16 photos
Latest upload: Jul 30, 2010
My Garden
25 photos
Latest upload: Aug 8, 2010

Nicko’s Embedded Photos

Nicko's photos in Help Support Breast Cancer Awareness Month (and a chance to win some cool prizes) Nicko's photos in Makin Bacon
4 photos
Latest upload: Oct 3, 2015
Nicko's photos in French Toast For Two Please
1 photo
Latest upload: Sep 19, 2015
Nicko's photos in Culinary School Review Contest
5 photos
Latest upload: Jun 7, 2015
Nicko's photos in Coming Soon Jende Custom Knife Roll Giveaway!!!
2 photos
Latest upload: May 5, 2015

Nicko's Lists

8 Lists
My knives 0 Cutlery
Last Updated 3/11/14
Pots and Pans 3 Kitchen Equipment
Last Updated 9/13/10
Kitchen Tools 3 Kitchen Equipment
Last Updated 8/5/10
Coffee 2 Kitchen Equipment
Last Updated 7/25/10
Wish List 8 Kitchen Equipment
Last Updated 7/19/10
Places I Have Cooked 8 User List
Last Updated 4/6/10
Knives 6 Cutlery
Last Updated 3/2/10
Cookbook Reviews 11 Cookbooks
Last Updated 2/20/10

ChefTalk.com › Nicko's profile