23 March 2018

Q & A with Nick Trataris

How long have you been cooking and what made you decide to be a chef?

I’ve been cooking food from as far back as the age of 13 and have thoroughly enjoyed it regardless of how skilful I was in the early stages. I found myself at a crossroads in life looking to pursue something I took pleasure in rather than chasing the financial dream and that left me with the obvious answer of becoming a chef!


Can you talk us through your style of cooking?

I like to include bold and stand out flavours, a lot of my experimenting with food often involves swimming against the current and trying all sorts of mix matches of flavours, textures and temperatures. I firmly believe that you eat a meal with all your senses and not just taste, so texture and colour has always been important to me as well.


Which chef has influenced you most during your career?

Perhaps one of my favourite chefs is Curtis Duffy of Grace, Chicago. I’ve followed him for about as long as I’ve been a chef and have always admired his approach to food and to the industry. He strikes me as the kind of person who is determined, has faith in his own goal and abilities and has a ‘never say never’ kind of attitude. From working with Grant Achatz and Charlie Trotter to opening up Grace and attaining 3 Michelin stars, it’s hard not to admire him.


What are your favourite garnishes to use when plating up?

Tying in with my love for bold flavours and elegant presentation ive been a massive fan of the micro- herbs from Nurtured in Norfolk. We use a lot of Lemon Balm and Micro Mint to pack that lovely fragrant edge into a dish.


What is your favourite product to work with?

Having Grown up around Southern Africa I have always largely associated food with Meat and Fish cooked on an open fire. I love the complexity of what it takes to cook different meats for different reasons and how even the simplest of changes in your prep could result in a massive flavour difference in the finished product.


What does the future hold for you as a chef, what is your ambition?

I’ve always wanted to work in kitchens around the world to gain a wide level of experience, both in cooking and in life. Part of me is looking forward to starting a new chapter and embarking on this adventure, with the hope that I can return one day and comfortably help realise my goal of opening my own restaurant.