Is there a New Year’s resolution you keep postponing?
For Nik Fields, it was her dream of becoming a chef and food producer. Inspired by her father’s career as a professional chef, Nik graduated from a culinary arts school in 1995 and traveled to Italy to study the country’s rich history and gastronomy.
“My parents were against me becoming a chef, especially my father,” Nik said. “They are from the (Caribbean) Islands and said they didn’t come over here to have me cook. They didn’t want me to be a slave in the kitchen.”
Nik pivoted to a conventional career. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees and had a successful 20-year-career in banking, where she was a vice president. Nik also got married and had a daughter. Nevertheless, she continued to live out her passion for food in the meantime
“Food has always been a way to break bonds,” Nik said. “If there was an issue or concern, we sat down to dinner to discuss it. Food is a rite of passage and a gateway.
Finally, when in 2016, her daughter graduated from college, and her husband received his Ph.D., Nik decided it was her turn.
Now known as Chef Nik, “Nik the Chic Chef” or “Foodie with a Cause,” she merged her food, life, beauty, and wellness passions. For example, Nik gained national recognition for her craft and prepared cuisine for a sprawling scroll of celebrities like Snoop Dog, Tony Goldwyn, and Vivica Fox. She has also been featured in People Magazine, The Doctors on NBC, HGTV, Bravo, and VH1
“I always listen to my (inner) voice,” she explained. “The more you move, the more you grow.”
Nik’s inner knowledge has guided her from celebrity chef to food mogul. She is the first Black Chef to own an olive farm in Italy. Under her “Chic Chef” company, Nik has produced a vast array of olive oils, balsamic vinegar, syrups, popcorn, hot sauces, grits, pancake and waffle mix, and ketchup. Chic Chef also offers kitchenware and spices, and tea made from dried herbs.
“One of the things that have me awed and teary-eyed is that I own and manufacture everything in my store,” Nik said. “I created my own Wal-Mart and Whole Foods. It’s a lot of work, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
A Chic Chef restaurant is scheduled to open next to her shop in early 2022 in Phoenix, AZ, where she currently lives. Customers will be able to enjoy a delicious meal at the restaurant, walk next door to the shop, select recipe cards, and purchase ingredients to recreate the culinary magic at home.
Food education is also an essential component of Nik’s business, brand, and identity. Her nonprofit organization Waste Not Want Not (WNWN Inc.) encourages households and restaurants to limit food waste. On her gorgeous and accessible Instagram feed, Nik teaches her community about the power of simple ingredients like olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and avocado.
“It’s important because what we intake affects how we act and our natural beauty,” she said.
“Food is medicine. Once we realize how important it is to eat good food, we will live healthier and longer.”
Nik also believes in running her business and brand with incredible style. Her feminine and glamorous presence disrupts the stereotype of celebrity chefs as mostly white men sporting big white hats and oversized clothes. Her resolution is now her reality
“I believe the way you look reflects how the food tastes,” Nik said. “There’s nothing wrong with wearing lip gloss or having our hair curled. It’s okay to look good and cook. Live in your feminine power.”
Visit Nik’s Chic Chef blog to learn more about her products and great recipes to add flavor to your kitchen and life.