Introducing Top Chef: Nikki and Mark

Today, a double introduction

 

Top-Chef-Nikki Top Chef: Nikki

AGE: 35

HOMETOWN: New York, N.Y.

PROFESSION: Chef / co-owner – 24 Prince

CULINARY EDUCATION: A.O.S Culinary Arts, School of Culinary Arts

FAVORITE SIMPLE SPRING RECIPE: Fresh English peas with shallot, grape tomatoes, pecorino cheese and fresh mint

Nikki operates 24 Prince Restaurant in New York City as the chef and co-owner. Trained for many years in back of house and in front of house operations with great chefs like Jean-Georges, Shaun Doty and Anne Quatrano, Nikki believes a great chef must understand how to run a business as well as possess outstanding cooking skills. She is also a certified sommelier with extensive wine knowledge. Nikki loves not being restricted to any one particular cuisine and experiments with flavors and ingredients from all over the world. She considers growing up in New York to be the best culinary education one can obtain and says her family and friends constantly tease her about how passionate she is about food. Her future plans are to expand her restaurant group with several new concepts.

 

Top-Chef-Mark

Top Chef: Mark

AGE: 29

HOMETOWN: New Zealand – currently resides in New York, N.Y.

PROFESSION: Sous Chef at Public Restaurant in New York City

CULINARY EDUCATION: Self-Taught

FAVORITE SIMPLE SPRING RECIPE: Roast New Zealand venison, minted edamame, wee fella Yorkshire pudding and espresso hollandaise.

Born and raised on a sheep farm in New Zealand, Mark developed a great appreciation for cooking from scratch. After leaving school at the age of 16, he went to work at a slaughterhouse before leaving New Zealand to travel the world. Over the past eight years, Mark has worked his way up the kitchen ladder from dishwasher to sous chef and has worked in New Zealand, Melbourne, Tokyo, and New York.