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Chicago, IL

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Last Online:

7 hours, 35 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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Fried chicken, no buttermilk: dip in yogurt? egg wash?
Nicko posted in this thread in Food & Cooking 4/29/16 at 6:23am | 19 replies | 287 views
Center of Salami Retaining Moisture
Nicko posted in this thread in Food & Cooking 4/26/16 at 12:29pm | 9 replies | 126 views
Thoughts on the French Pastry School in Chicago?
Nicko posted in this thread in Choosing A Culinary School 4/26/16 at 5:24am | 2 replies | 42 views
Nicko posted in this thread in Food & Cooking 4/21/16 at 6:07am | 13 replies | 213 views
Grafton Village Cheese Truffle Cheddar
Nicko posted in this thread in Food & Cooking 4/21/16 at 5:59am | 11 replies | 162 views
Chinois: Is a conical pestle necessary?
Nicko posted in this thread in Cooking Equipment Reviews 4/18/16 at 5:10pm | 7 replies | 176 views
How To Remove Sticker/Label From Copper Pot?
Nicko posted in this thread in Cooking Equipment Reviews 4/18/16 at 5:10pm | 11 replies | 152 views
Norton 39868 Oil Stone Starter Kit
added by Nicko 4/18/16 at 5:32am


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

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Nicko's photos in Do anyone stir the bones in stock vigorously before straining?
1 photo
Latest upload: Mar 18, 2016
Nicko's photos in Reordering displayed posts
1 photo
Latest upload: Mar 17, 2016
Nicko's photos in Canning-The Food Lovers Hobby.
1 photo
Latest upload: Mar 9, 2016
Nicko's photos in Remembering Chef Ed Buchanan
1 photo
Latest upload: Mar 7, 2016
Nicko's photos in An Explanation of Mise-en-place.
1 photo
Latest upload: Feb 27, 2016

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