Hey, I’m Nick - I’m from South Bend, Indiana and have lived in NYC for 18 years, so I guess you could say I’m a New Yorker now. I grew up in a big Irish/Italian family, have 7 siblings, and was raised in what you could say was a unconventional family. Everyone was welcome to join our family, from foreign exchange students to parishioners and everyone in between. My favorite part of our revolving door was the exposure to different cultures, religions, and food. My parents also dabbled in many faiths, which led me to Quaker camp as a child (yes, we were super hippy dippy). I’ve always loved nature and being outside. I have ADD and my Mom not realizing what was causing my attention deficit would tell me to go outside and run around the block a couple times, leading to my love for track/running.
It wasn’t until high school when I wanted to do everything my big brother was doing that I decided to take up singing and acting and got hooked. I studied Musical Theatre at College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati and moved to NYC right after college to pursue theatre. Wicked the musical took me to Chicago for 3 years and while living there, I got really into the city’s impressive food scene. It was during this time that my roommate introduced me to Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine, something I’m still fascinated with today. After I was done with the show, I decided to take a break from theatre for a bit and focus on cooking.
Cooking has always been my other love. Instead of going to culinary school, I decided to get as much hands on experience as possible. I’ve been fortunate enough to stage and work in some amazing kitchens such as Momofuku, The Spotted Pig, The Greenhouse Tavern, and I was even a butcher at Dickson's Farmstand Meats. I started a catering company and fell in love with rich, salty, meaty foods (think old school Jamie Oliver), delicious but not the healthiest. When I met Alicia, she introduced me to the book, The Clean Program by Dr. Alejandro Junger and it quite literally change the way I think of food. I don’t want to say I was a mess when I met Alicia, but yeah I was a bit all over the place and she really cleaned up my life, inside and outside.
As an actor with ADD, or quite honestly just to be a functioning adult, it’s imperative I lead a healthy lifestyle or I wouldn’t be able to accomplish half of what I want to do. Things like meditating, journaling, running, eating foods that feed my brain are 100% a necessity in my life. Even though I’ve eaten plant-based for a good chunk of time, I find this journey of clean eating a rabbit hole of discovering the science between the stomach and the brain and could talk about gut health forever.
I feel incredibly lucky to be able to go back and forth from theatre to cooking and when I get to meld those two worlds together, it’s the icing on the cake. I love sourcing ingredients through local purveyors to planning, preparing, and cooking for groups of all sizes. I see my food as being the catalyst for not only providing a memorable meal but also for sparking a larger more important sense of community.
Favorite Sunday Activity | Finding hidden cliffs to jump off of in the Catskills and coming home to make food for the week
Addicted To | Traditional Chinese Medicine + Acupuncture
Obsessed With | Smushed faced dogs
Sun, Rising, Moon | Sagittarius, Aries, Pisces
Best Trip | Cape Town, South Africa
Favorite Food in NYC | Beef Bourguignon Pita from Miznon