Born in South Bend, Indiana, and raised in New York City, Nick received a BA in Art History from Columbia University. When he had the opportunity to spend his junior year abroad, he completely immersed himself in the food and culture of Rome, and over the course of that year, decided to dive head first into professional cooking.
Upon his return from Rome, Nick's culinary career began at Buzzy O'Keefe's The Water Club, where he worked full time during his senior year at Columbia. After graduation, Nick worked for Larry Forgione at An American Place, Rose Hill and Manhattan Prime. From there, Nick served as both a pastry cook and a line cook in the kitchen of Babbo under Mario Batali and Gina De Palma, with most of his time spent honing his skills on the pasta station.
Food lovers may recognize Nick's name from Bill Buford's bestseller, Heat, where he played a key role in the Babbo kitchen during Buford's apprenticeship at the eatery. Working at Babbo re-fueled Nick's passion for Italian cuisine, and after his two year tenure, he returned to Italy, this time to cook in kitchens throughout Rome and Milan.
Following his year in Italy, Nick landed at Gramercy Tavern where he cooked for six years (initially under Chef Tom Colicchio and then for Chef Michael Anthony). During his time at Gramercy Tavern, Nick reinvigorated the pasta program and developed a deep and lasting respect for ingredients and the farmers who grow them.
In 2009, Danny Meyer appointed Nick as the opening Executive Chef of Maialino where he later became a partner in 2012. This Roman-inspired trattoria overlooking Gramercy Park captures the warmth and comfort of a true neighborhood restaurant, with a menu that celebrates the team's meaningful relationship with its local family of farmers and suppliers.
Since opening, Maialino has achieved both critical and popular acclaim, obtaining two stars from
The New York Times, three stars from New York Magazine and four from Time Out NY. Nick has appeared on The Martha Stewart Show and The Cooking Channel's Unique Eats, as well as in national publications like Food & Wine, Esquire and GQ.
In 2013, Nick announced a new project- he will serve as the Executive Chef/Partner at a yet-to-be-named Italian restaurant opening in the King & Grove New York Hotel in 2014.