Originally from Los Angeles, California, Nick fell in love with cooking from a young age watching his father cook old family recipes. After high school, he decided to move to Singapore to learn more about his heritage and to master the art of cooking at one of the world's most regarded food destinations.
He got a chance to work for restaurateurs Dan and Glenn Ballis at Moosehead Kitchen despite having no previous kitchen experience. Under Dan and his father Glenn's mentorship, he learned the ins and outs of the industry while building the foundations of his cooking repertoire.
After Singapore, he went to New York City to attend ICC (International Culinary Institute) where he got his certification in Restaurant Entrepreneurship Management. Additionally, Nick was also diligently refining his craft at the former Michelin-Starred NoMad Restaurant. It was at the NoMad where he learned the discipline to executive cuisine at the highest level.
After New York, Nick moved back to Los Angeles and took on the position of Sous Chef for renowned chef, Tony Esnault. Tony Esnault and his wife Yassmin Sarmadi, have established themselves as a power couple in the Southern California culinary scene responsible for Knife Pleat, Church & State, and Spring. Nicolas quickly moved his way up to Chef de Cuisine despite only being 22 years old, overseeing all three restaurants and earning a Michelin Bib Gourmand for Church & State, saw Spring climb to #4 on Los Angeles Times "101 Best Restaurants" list and Knife Pleat earning a Michelin Star.
He tried the private events sector for a while curating various dining experiences for Hollywood socialites, as well as restaurant consulting before moving again to New York City and joining Marco as the Executive Chef for Favela Cubana and Calle Dao.
After working for Marco in his Asian-Cuban/Brazilian restaurants and seeing his passion for the business and his work ethic, especially during the pandemic, he decided to join him at Mareluna. He loves the freedom he has in the kitchen and how he gets to experiment bringing his own flavors to traditional Italian cooking. He loves learning from Marco’s mother who has been graciously sharing her family recipes with him. He doesn’t want a typical Italian restaurant menu so he is always trying to find ways to elevate and freshen up the menu.
A typical day for Nick starts at 10am at home when he starts thinking about menus, goes to the market to see what fresh produce he can get and comes up with new Specials for the day.
He is grateful for all the amazing mentors he had. Dan Ballis helped him understand the industry and learn how to be focused and disciplined. Tony Esnault taught him all the traditional techniques. And he is inspired by Marco’s work ethic every day and excited to be a part of the SoHo community and help Marco bring his vision to life.