Wednesday Guest Blogger: Chef Nick Pantchev

Chef Nick Pantchev

I probably don’t talk about it often enough, but I really love food! I LOVE FOOD. I love kitties, tea, mustaches, dresses, crafting, wine… AND FOOD! Unfortunately, I am not an awesome cook. I’m pretty damn good with the prep work, but I need someone else to do the actual cooking. Especially meat. I am paranoid about under-cooking meat. I also suck at baking… anyway, I love to try and at least make a decent attempt at cooking, but I am fascinated by people who are actually amazing at it – hence this week’s guest blogger: chef and wine connoisseur, Mr. Pantchev! Not only is Nick a talented food-making-machine, he also loves cats and mustaches, which is pretty okay by me. He is also a fellow Sheridan Illustration kid, so I am most likely a little biased. Anyway, as soon as he opens his own restaurant, I will be first in line to try it out! Enjoy! 😀

nerdbiskit: So, what’s the story? Who are you, and what do you do? How did it all start? Short bio!

Nick: I’m Nick Pantchev, an up and coming chef in the GTA. Was born in Bulgaria and moved around Canada and the US until Ontario became my home. I guess it all started by doing jobs just to pay my living expenses – then cooking got to a point where I could make a decent living out of it.

nerdbiskit: Why do you do it?

Nick: I get to play with food and make my own menus. Working with other industry professionals is like a secret club or more like an awesome pirate crew. You always learn something new in this industry. Subconsciously, I’m probably a masochist with all the hours I’ve dedicated to it.

nerdbiskit: What’s unique about you and what you do? What sets you apart from the pack?

Nick: I specialize in French and French/Asian fusion cooking, but not limited to that. What’s unique about me is style and the way I execute food. I constantly refine and deconstruct what I know. Aside from graduating from culinary top in my year, I also completed 2 years of Illustration at Sheridan College (in Oakville, ON.) This in itself gave me a stronger understanding of design and composition on a plate. I’m certified in tasting and pairing wines. I recently completed three months at a five star hotel, Crillon le Brave, as chef de partie in the South of France – this achievement has opened many doors in my career.

nerdbiskit: What/who is your inspiration?

Nick: A broad spectrum of things, there’s chefs like Grant Achatz, Heston Blumenthal and Anthony Bourdain. Then there’s things like looking at architecture or street art, you see elements of design that make you think, “How can I put that on a plate?” Toronto food missions have been a great inspiration – with such an eclectic range of cuisine, it’s a great way to stimulate your palate or read up on dishes you’re not familiar with.


nerdbiskit: What are some of your favourite things? (To do, to eat, to think about, etc.)

Nick: I try to have a physically active lifestyle so I usually like to hit the gym, skateboard or go paint-balling. Other than that, chilling out with friends, enjoying a good bottle of wine, or on an uneventful night hanging with my cat and catching up on TV series or reading.

nerdbiskit: How do you know Lisa Bell of nerdbiskit? Do you think her mustache obsession is a little ridiculous?

Nick: I know Lisa from Sheridan and we just reconnected after all these years. Is her mustache obsession ridiculous? Not at all – although, I’m kind of nervous to grow one around her, eye contact would just shift on my heavenly man whiskers.

nerdbiskit: That about wraps it up! Feel free to creep Nick and his cooking escapades via his Facebook page.

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