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Nikki Cascone      

Chef/Owner Red Hook Hospitality, Contestant on Bravo's "Top Chef Chicago"

Nikki’s passion for the culinary industry sparked at the early age of 14- with her first job in a small butcher shop on Staten Island. She soon sought a culinary degree, enrolling at the School of Culinary Arts in Atlanta, Georgia where she received an Associates degree and began building a stronger foundation in culinary technique. Following graduation, Nikki worked for several years within James Beard award winning restaurant groups of Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Avroko, and Guenter Seeger to name a few. Having gained further understanding of the many elements that complete a dining experience, Nikki turned her attention to the art of wine and food pairings and achieved full certification from both The Sterling Vineyards School of Service and Hospitality and the American Sommelier Association.

She has created several successful, complete beverage programs including a Wine Spectator award winning list while at Sotto Sotto restaurant in Atlanta, GA. Nikki’s experience culminated in working the 2005 season as the Director of Food and Beverage for all of the Yankee Stadium luxury services and restaurants.

In 2005 , she opened 24 Prince in SoHo, serving traditional American fare that was hailed for offering the right balance of style, comfort and creativity at an affordable price. Three years later Nikki was a popular chef’testant on Bravo’s Emmy winning show, Top Chef, bringing her culinary skills to the spotlight where she became a fan favorite on and off of the show. She has appeared on several local and national tv segments representing herself including Rachel Ray, Good Morning America, The Today Show to name a few.

The author of the popular blog, Nikki can be seen around the country participating in events, seminars, charity events as well as classes and demonstrations with her Consulting and Production company, Red Hook Hospitality. Nikki has been involved with the design and build of over a dozen major NYC and Atlanta restaurants including Public, Spice Market, V Steakhouse, 24 Prince, Grotta Azzura and Dogmatic. Nikki was the Chef Production Consultant working for NBC Universal for 3 years for the annual Top Chef Tour - which travels to U.S. cities hosting the Top Chef Alumni in a live cooking challenges and also to the Top Chef Kitchen – a 5 week pop up restaurant in NYC set to launch in other major cities.

She has represented global brands such as Weight Watchers, Rachel Ray, Nabisco, and Quaker Oats and is considered an authority among her peers on sustainable, organic and healthy cooking.

Nikki is working on her first book that will highlight healthy cooking for babies and toddlers. She currently resides in New York City with her husband and 3-year-old son.

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