A longtime fixture in the Valley culinary world, Christopher Nicosia is the executive chef at The Craftsman Cocktails + Kitchen, one of Scottsdale’s newest dining destinations. Learn about Chef Nicosia…
Hometown: Joliet, Illinois
First job: Joliet Surgery and Health Care Center in my father’s office. When I was young, all that I wanted to do was to be a doctor like my father and grandfather. After college, I realized that the passion for medicine wasn’t there, but the passion for food was.
Favorite ways to spend your free time in AZ: When I’m not in the kitchen, I love to spend time outdoors. Fishing, hiking, shooting, you name it. But at the end of the day, I’m happy just being with my amazing family.
Your biggest accomplishment and why: I have to say that, above all career accomplishments, raising the two most wonderful children that I could ever dream of (Dominic, 17m and Olivia, 11) is my greatest accomplishment. My wife, Heather, and I look at raising our family as the number one priority in our lives. We nailed it! Ask anyone…
The biggest obstacle you overcame: Finally deciding to follow my passion for cooking. I stalled for a year and a half after I graduated from college before I eventually dove in and never looked back.
Someone who inspires you and why: All of the staff members who show up every day and look to me for guidance. It reminds me of the responsibility and influence that I have. I don’t think I could handle the disappointment that I’d feel if I let my staff down.
Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: Keep your head up, your knives sharp, your eyes open and know that you are definitely going to make mistakes. Take as many opportunities as you can to learn and grow. And remember…it’s only food.
Favorite quote: “Better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.”
Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: I earned a BA in English and Psychology (animal behavior). After I decided medicine wasn’t the path for me, I thought that I was going to be a researcher for National Geographic. I like to think that I ended up right where I truly belong: in the kitchen, making incredible food.
What makes someone fabulous: Integrity. Be the same person when you are alone, in your home, and as you are out in public.