By Gavin M.
8 years old / Manhattan
My Dad is Nickolas Martinez, the Executive Chef of Foragers in New York City. He is awesome and the best dad ever! He makes the best sandwiches and spends his days off swimming with me and my brother. He works a lot and he is amazing! I decided to interview him for Kids’ News NYC so kids could learn about what a chef’s job is like.
G: Is it hard to be a chef?
N: Yes, it is a hard job.
G: Why is it hard?
N: It is very demanding and high pressure because we try to make every dish as perfect as possible.
G: How is it demanding?
N: It is physically and mentally demanding to manage a kitchen, people and still be creative.
G: What do you like about being a chef?
N: I like making people happy and working with my hands. I love the tradition of food and teaching my staff.
G: Why do you like teaching people?
N: I was fortunate enough to learn from great chefs and I like to share that knowledge with other people, passing down the craft I learned. I like helping others to build their careers and sometimes a better life.
G: What is your favorite pizza?
N: On the Upper East Side, Delizia. In New York, Difaro’s in Brooklyn.
G: What is your favorite food?
N: Definitely Mexican food.
G: Who taught you how to cook?
N: My grandmas and my mom and dad taught me how to cook at home.
G: When did you know you wanted to be a chef?
N: I was 14 when I got my first job as a prep cook and dishwasher. I loved the culture in the kitchen and the freedom that a paycheck gave me.
G: What’s a funny kitchen story?
N: I asked a porter to light the pilot light on the grill before he left last week and he left the gas on a little too long before he lit it. When he lit it, it was like a mushroom fireball that scared us all and once we got our bearings we laughed in the end.