The short version:
I am a chef, TV host, cookbook author, blogger, radio host, recipe developer, professional voice over artist and terrace gardener. I cook mostly "Meat on the Side" which focuses on veggies, making them unique and the star of the plate.
The long version:
Aside from my other endeavors, I am most importantly a food-crazed individual who has decided to take my obsession for food and cooking and post it all over the Internet. But let’s start from the beginning...
I grew up in a big family where the only way to be heard was to be louder than the person next to you. Thus my sometimes overzealous way of speaking ;) I grew up being called "Picky Nikki", though “picky” was a kind word to describe my horrendous and dramatic eating habits. After years of all out tantrums and sneaking my plate to the bathroom to slide my dinner down the air vent (It really never occurred to be to put it in the toilet) my parents finally gave up, and at the age of 9 I was allowed to eat whatever I wanted...but they would not make it for me. Sooooooo...a healthy childhood diet of ramen noodles, cereal, and bagels later I found myself living in NYC still eating less variety than a 2 year old.
This is no joke, I ate NOTHING, no vegetables, no protein, NOTHING! And one day after turning down my new friend's dinner invitation yet again because I knew I would embaress myself eating bread alone at her favorite restaurant I realized...I couldn’t live this way!!
It wasn’t easy but I just started trying things, and I discovered that if I tried a new food 5 times, I didn’t hate it anymore...15 times and I almost liked it...25 times and I started craving it! And at that moment the whole world opened up to me. Flavor after new flavor deliciously assaulted my deprived and pathetic taste buds showing me just what I was missing. I tasted the subtleties in food and began creating these flavors at home. I immersed myself into cooking, finding it a fascinating, empowering, creative outlet where I got to play, experiment and create. Before I knew it food took over my life.
So why make a food blog?
Well, it actually started with an online cooking show on youtube...You see, ever since I existed I have been performing. It started with plays in my living room, than in my community, my school and eventually at 15 I started commuting 8 hours to NYC for auditions. All I wanted to do was perform and be creative. And a few (many!) years later I am still in NYC pursuing my childhood dream.
Throughout the years my dream had expanded itself to include voice overs, hosting, photography and other creative endevors both infront of and behind the camera. About 5 years ago hosting had become more and more a part of my career and one day a friend suggested I combine my hosting with my extreme love for cooking and create an online cooking show. Now don’t get me wrong, the thought had crossed my mind many, MANY times and it was my secret dream to be Rachael Ray...BUT...I didn’t go to culinary school and I wasn’t a professional chef. So did I really have something unique to share???
Well, heck yeah I did!!! I realized that my mind was bursting with tips and tricks. I had the knowledge to answer anyone’s questions and in a way that everyone could understand. I always had a unique way of thinking about food and it was obvious that people were ready for Meat On The Side cooking. Most importantly I knew I could present my ideas and recipes in an entertaining and accessible way. I DID have something to say - so I started SCREAMING! I posted video after video of my original recipes on youtube, I shared last night’s dinner on facebook, became a food guru on the radio and expressed random thoughts and pics through twitter and instagram. Then finally after sweat and tears I created this website (with some serious help from a handsome young man named Austin) and here I am.
More recently food has continued to take me on many amazing adventures including appearing on Food Network Star Season 9, writing my first cookbook Meat On The Side and my new show Junk Food Flip. And the best part is that the adventure is only begining...
Thanks for visiting. It means the world to me!
( I know that sounds corny but it’s true)
** Junk Food Flip Season 2**
Jan 19th 2016 9pmET on Cooking Channel
The best thing I will ever write
For my baby...
**My first cookbook MEAT ON THE SIDE is coming!**