Nik is a talented and award-winning chef who is passionate about creating inspiring menus and leading teams towards success. He has recently returned to NZ from London, where he spent five years working as Head Chef for Kiwi owned and award-winning restaurant, Caravan, under the directorship of Miles Kirby. His international experience and travels through Europe and Asia have given him first-hand culinary insight into some of the best food and wine in the world. He has a rich and varied background in kitchen management and am a firm believer that the secret ingredient to delivering outstanding results is an outstanding team culture. Having just returned to New Zealand, he has joined Deliciosa looking to flex his creative muscles and make a big impact.
You have a very impressive resume created both here in NZ, and internationally. What pulled you back to Hawke’s Bay?
Hawke's Bay had so much appeal for me as a chef and wine lover with it's unbeatable fresh produce, up and coming eateries and amazing wine. My whanau are all from the Bay and it beats London as a place for raising a family, hands down.
How has the combination of all your previous experiences influenced your career as a chef?
I started my career with classical french training at Le Bon Bolli here in NZ, and moved on to creating well travelled, fusion style food as the Head Chef at Caravan Restaurants in London. I'm now excited to be bringing this experience home to create new and exciting dishes at Deliciosa with big bold flavours that flaunt the food and wine basket of the Hawkes Bay.
Where do you find inspiration to innovate new dishes?
My travels and experiences of different cultures is what inspires me. That exposure to authentic flavour combinations, ingredients used in unique ways and the stories that go with them sparks my creativity in the kitchen. I enjoy marrying the old with the new, creating distinctive profiles and bending rules that aren't supposed to be broken.
Hawke’s Bay has more than it’s fair share of produce – what’s your favourite ingredient to work with, and why? (can be seasonally, over in general)
It's hard to select just one specific ingredient, when it's all so great! From the juiciest watermelons, to zesty stonefruits and the most humblest of potatoes, everything is it our doorstep. From farm to table and ocean to the pan, it's all here and every ingredient can be the star of a dish.
What can we expect to see on the menu at Deliciosa in the upcoming months? (If this can be shared)
Seasonal shifts in menus are a given, but I'm also working with local suppliers to bring some of my personal favourites to the table, such as ndujaa a spreadable style of salami from Italy, and more french cheese varietals like comte and bleu de averne to name a few. I'm selecting local European favourites that have little exposure in NZ and showcasing them on the menu here at Deliciosa. Come and enjoy.
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