Alright Food Geeks, if you’re not already on the Chef Nikki bandwagon, it’s time to hop on right now. Usually, I start with a fun intro for each post, but before we get started, go ahead and follow her everywhere, you’ll thank me later -> Nikki Talks Food at YouTube, Facebook, Instagram.
There’s a reason Chef Nikki calls her loyal fans “Food Geeks”, because she is always sharing that certified executive chef knowledge with us. She’s our very own Alton Brown, getting so into the science of things, yet you almost forget you’re learning because you’re so busy laughing and tasting amazing food. This week, I learned how to easily peel ginger, how to peel and mince garlic, and about the natural antibacterial properties in a wood cutting board.
I first met Nikki when I attended her Sauces Workshop at Brown’s Kitchen Center, and I now consider her one of my favorite humans on the planet. Who doesn’t want to hang out with someone that makes you laugh, all while teaching you how to cook a delicious meal. At that workshop, I met Becca who later became a Tallahassee Foodies Facebook group moderator, as well as several other workshop attendees that have since shown up to all of our Tallahassee Foodies events. I know that these workshop attendees are still in my life because Nikki made it feel as though we were all amongst friends, with a lot of fun, education, and good food thrown into the mix. I can’t wait to see them all once we get back into the swing of things again!
Since the pandemic shut down our city to all except essential services, what has Chef Nikki been up to? Besides selling her locally famous, soon to be worldwide famous, Pro Seasoning, she’s now teaching live cooking classes! I’ve said since the beginning of COVID, from crisis comes innovation, and Chef Nikki pivoted from in-person courses to Facebook Live courses, in partnership with RedEye Coffee. They prep meal kits using local ingredients, attendees pick up their meal kit on a Thursday at RedEye Coffee, and then later that evening, we’re following along with Chef Nikki at a Facebook Live virtual course.
Although the courses sell out, somehow due to circumstances for an attendee, they had an extra kit and gifted it to me as a thank you for streaming Watch Parties of her courses every Thursday evening at our Tallahassee Foodies and Tallahassee Foodies Home groups. I jumped in on her Korean Barbecue course, I played with flavors I’ve never worked with before, got hooked, and have purchased every course since then.
The following week was a dish I can’t stop thinking about – Herbed Spatchcock Chicken with Tomato Pies and RedEye’s incredibly delicious Blackberry Tea with sage. Oh my word, I’m ready to make it all over again, and again! This was something that I could do with my mom, at her house, away from the kids, and it was just a ton of fun. We laughed, we drank our wine out of jelly jars, just like Chef Nikki, and enjoyed one of the best meals I’ve ever had, a full on restaurant chef quality meal (because she is an executive chef, after all)!
As we pivot again, slowly, back into our “new normal”, the format of Nikki’s courses will change just a bit. She will still be teaching the online courses (yay), but instead of picking up a meal kit, she will provide us with a shopping list so we can pick up our own ingredients and cook along with her. I’m assuming she’s transitioning back into the real world with work and all, and packing these meal kits had to be super time consuming. Lucky for us, we still get to keep up with the classes we’ve grown to love so much. Her last meal kit course is this evening, so if you haven’t done so already, purchase your meal kit tickets and pick up that kit so you can bake a Classic Sponge Cake with Mocha Buttercream and Ganache Glaze along with her!