National Italian American Celebrity Lifestyle Magazine
Celebrity Chef TV Star of New Series
“Nick Stellino Cooking With Friends 2”
Recipient of the Italian Trade Commission 2010
By Andrew Guzaldo
As they say, it takes all kinds of spokes to make a wheel turn. However, Nick Stellino is not just a spoke, he is also the entire wheel that keeps them in place. Chef Stellino is optimistic, affectionate and driven. Not in an ambitious way but rather in a passionate persona, one that he shares and is proud of his heritage. He is the epitome of passion in an Italian way, and in particular about food. He could make any person want to be Italian. This is not to say that he is not goal oriented. He has accomplished a great deal since coming to America in 1975 at the young age of 17.
When you would sit down, and a conversation with him, he somehow makes you feel like you are long lost friends and you have known him for many years. He is a man with strong family roots, with a devotion of respect and admiration to those who influenced him and formed his character. In conversation, he often speaks of his uncle Giovanni. He quotes him as saying, “You should never die without having followed your dreams”
Stellino was born in 1958 in Palermo. It was around that time that his father, Vincenzo, a Palermo art dealer, began to make a plan to go to America. He went as far as hand picking the ship for the crossing, the Marriuccia. Ironically, Vincenzo had applied for immigration as a chef. This just happened to be the profession that had the best chance for approval. But with Nick’s arrival his plan changed. The family came first and they decided to stay in Sicily. Of course as any good parent would tell you nurturing your children and the stability of family life are higher on the priority list than personal dreams.
Nick Stellino has dedicated his work to his father Vincenzo, who has since passed away. This sad experience also taught him a lesson, “whatever we have will end”. He also was forced to realize, that life is shorter then one would like.
Following in his father’s footsteps, Nick knows that there are other options. So his motto is “get busy living, or get busy dying”. No wonder he is hard to keep up with. He does everything to stay busy with things he loves. There are many projects that Nick is currently working on now. Many of these are so elaborate that some people couldn’t even imagine them.
His most recent project is a television show that will be on PBS next April. This collaboration has started filming in August 2010. Not only is he taking on this giant production but he will also focus his talents at producing a cookbook, with the same name as the TV show “ Nick Stellino, Cooking With Friends II”. The scenario of Chef Stellino’s show, will be cooking with friends on a studio, but there are going to be also outdoor shots like cooking on fields, or going to various venues… This incredible production is the fruit of a 2-year devotion and response to non-stop calls from many influential people who want commemorate the anniversary of his 15th year culinary career on the air. This will involve showcasing Nick’s fanfare and friendships with features like John Tesar, Former Executive Chef, of The Mansion on Turtle Creek, A Rosewood Hotel in Dallas, sharing his story as a New York transplant who goes from hand washing silverware in the Hampton’s to taking the reigns at a culinary institution. Nick will also inspire us with Rick Moonen, who opened his multi-leveled restaurant RM Seafood at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. We will also be introduced to Ken Rathbun a four-time nominee for the James Beard Foundation’s prestigious “Best Chef of the Southwest” award (2000 - 2004). Another of Nick’s features will be Andy Husbands of Tremont 647 in the heart of Boston’s South End and who’s blue-medal-winning team, has been dominating BBQ competitions all over New England. But this is not all; the list goes on and on. Others include Oceanaire Seafood Room VP Wade Weistling, one of the Peninsula’s best Chef Lawrence C. C. Chu, Kevin Rathbun of Rathbun’s, Krog Bar (2005), and Kevin Rathbun Steak (2007), Gale Gand a Chicago-based pastry chef, cookbook author, television personality, and was the host of the Food Network show Sweet Dreams, 2009 James
As of today, Chef Stellino has written over 8 fascinating cookbooks! And if that is not enough he has his 9th, newest is soon to be published.
• Cooking With Friends,
• Dine In,
• Passione: Pasta, Pizza and Panini,
• Family Kitchen,
• Mediterranean Flavors
• Glorious Italian Cooking,
• Nick Stellino’s Cucina Amore
• Nick Stellino Cooking With Friends 2
Beard Award winner for Best Chef: Northwest, Maria Hines and owner of Tilth Restaurant in Seattle, Syvain Delpique one of the Top 5 Rising Chefs in the U.S. as noted by GAYOT and of course not to miss Executive Chef Michael Galata of Osteria Del Circo, New York and a host of other celebrities.
Wow, that was exhausting. With features like that, it’s sure that Nick’s new show will be a success. As you can see Nick Stellino Productions is busy with many projects like custom cooking books, social media books, as well as website designs. Some of the big name brands that Nick is working with are Domino and C&H sugar, Artesa Wines, Electrolux, Pompeian Olive oil, San Pellegrino , Acqua Panna and Sears Hometown Stores amongst others.
Of course, the majority of time is consumed by his love of the culinary arts. Nonetheless, Nick is a world-renowned man. One could almost say a Renaissance Man.
Nick Stellino, coming from humble beginnings is well aware of those that are in need. In essence, for that reason, he is a steady provider for charitable organizations.
Stellino prides himself as being down to earth and knowing how to share. He has been involved in a variety of Charity organizations. One such organization is the Red Cross. Nick’s endeavors began with his involvement in the planning and development of the Gala Dinner for the Red Cross. On the first year of his of relationship with the Red Cross the end result was to make $100 thousand dollars for the organization. Last year, this collaboration reached a record breaking $300 thousand dollars. Not to mention that this Gala served a dinner for 480 generous guests.
Nick Stellino is the recipient of the Red Cross Humanitarian award of the year 2010. More recently Nick received the Italian Trade Commission Distinguished Service Award for 2010. These were among many awards he has received in the past years. Nick is proud of every one of them, and holds them dear to his heart. So as a true Renascence Man Nick Stellino’s interest, in a plethora of worldly endeavors. To the point that he has even achieved cameos in like his appearance in the hit Movie Twilight
With all these accomplishments, he now wants to share his knowledge and expertise with the all who are interested. What better way than to do what he does best, cooking, writing cookbooks and televising his cooking show?
When asked, how he keeps up with such a busy schedule he replied “I sleep with a notepad with me in bed, I believe that great ideas come to mind when one sleeps. So I make sure I note my ideas.” This is a clear insight into how his goals are achieved. Everyone knows that a “to do list” can help but only if it is put to use. His is not just a to do list. It is a list of goals and brilliant ideas which he has definitely put to use.
Nick wouldn’t agree with this simple description of his success. He has worked hard and of course his career is the fruit of that hard work. Regardless of how sweet success really is only those who truly seek it taste it. In Nick’s case his passion for success outranks all of the obstacles he has encountered. Therefore, he continues to taste success. When asked to describe this passion for success, he says the following; “Everything hasn’t come easy to me, but I am told that I am not a cooking star anymore, that I’m too old, too fat, that I’ve done enough etc. But for me it’s a pride and passion within me, and if I would listen to them I wouldn’t be me”. That is so true. As you can see Nick is not a quitter. As he puts it, “You cannot win a race without starting. If you want to quit it’s ok, but you never know how it would end if you don’t try it to the end”
Once a year Nick goes to Italy to spend time with his mother, in Palermo. But when he is there he cuts himself off from the world. Nick replies, “I don’t pick up any business calls and I don’t do anything for the media. When I am there I’m mom’s 14 year boy again”. That desire to be in the sanctuary, of boyhood time when your mother’s love sheltered you is clearly understood by many of us. For those whose life is full of passion for life and success, it is probably more difficult to achieve. But clearly he somehow makes it all work.
Nick Stellino success and passion sure have made him a star, not only in cooking but also in life. As we said before, when you spend time with Nick you enter his world the epitome, of passion in an Italian way and in particular about food. He could make any person want to be Italian, and to those that are surely proud to be so!
In ending Nick replied “Why I do what I do! I love my wife, and the way she has designed our small garden. To me it has become a refuge from all that is stressing and unpleasant. I might be a good Chef, however my wife is a far better gardener, then anything I can do in the kitchen. So the next time, someone will ask me, why I do what I do. My answer is quite simple; it’s all about a slowly sipped martini, and walking around our “Imperial Garden” and holding my wife’s hand!”