Chef Wayne Nish

Celebrity Chef

Chef Wayne Nish's unique culinary vision was formed during his years growing up in New York City. He inherited his love of cooking from his Maltese mother, grandmother and aunt, and his love of the exotic from his Japanese-Norwegian father. Nish didn't start his professional life with cooking and becoming a chef in mind. In college, he studied journalism and architecture and didn't begin "a new life in the world of food" until he left other successful career endeavors. Nish's stunning career as chef, restaurateur and food expert has spanned the last 18 years.

Wayne Nish, chef/co-owner of March and his partner, Joseph Scalice, opened their acclaimed NYC Cuisine restaurant in an elegant turn-of-the-century townhouse in August 1990. During the eleven years of its impressive history, Nish and Scalice have transformed March, located on a quiet corner of Sutton Place, into one of Manhattan's premier destination restaurants.

Culinary Arts

There are all the right reasons for the continued success of March, paramount among them being Nish's philosophy about what he is doing in the kitchen and his great respect for cultural and historical influences on the art of cooking. Nish is a chef who thinks long and hard about ingredients and the food he wants to share with his restaurant guests. He says, "My food has always been a product of my love affair with New York City - its people, its ethnic neighborhoods, its marketplace offering the diversity of New York's delectable wares. I am proud to be creating recipes that are reflective of NYC Cuisine."

Prior to opening March, Nish was the Executive Chef at the legendary La Colombe d'Or. It was here that his culinary talents along with his lack of previous direct reference about the characteristics of French Provincial cooking co-served as the catalyst for him to create his own unique interpretation of this cuisine. Within four months as chef, Nish's innovative cooking at La Colombe d'Or garnered the restaurant a three star review in The New York Times, catapulting Nish from an unknown chef to a major culinary star. Nish observes, "It was a good example of a chef who was asked to work with a theme that he was not familiar with, to take certain ingredients and traditions, and then let instinct take over from there."

During the year before his work at La Colombe d'Or, Nish accepted an opportunity to work as a private chef for a New York socialite. This unique experience afforded him a venue to experiment in his own kitchen - a place where he could enjoy the artistic freedom which he still values so highly at March. This was in 1987, after he had held the position of Associate Chef at Barry Wine's then new, The Casual Quilted Giraffe.

At The Casual Quilted Giraffe, Nish was in the forefront of the transition from French Nouvelle to a truly original American cuisine. His culinary talent and skills were honed and, he drew inspiration from the no-holds-barred fever in Barry Wine's kitchen. Previously, Nish had worked with Wine as an apprentice at the famed The Quilted Giraffe after he trained at the New York Restaurant School.

March and its collaborative team, Nish and Scalice, have been recognized by international, national, local and trade publications. Among them are: Bon Appétit; The New York Times; GQ; House & Garden; Time Asia; Nation's Restaurant News; The Wine Spectator; Victoria; Gula (Brazil); Fine Cooking; New York Newsday; Santé; Diversion; Food Arts; New York Magazine; In New York; Forbes; The New Yorker and others.

In addition, Nish co-authored and photographed Simple Menus for the Bento Box which was published by William Morrow in 1998. This innovative cookbook has been favorably reviewed by major newspapers nationwide.

Nish has participated in culinary events and given cooking demonstrations all over the world from Brazil to England and Scotland to Texas and Colorado and Florida. He's made numerous television and radio appearances: WNBC-TV; The Food Network; Manhattan Cable Television; WNYC Radio "New York & Company;" NY1 News; WBBR-AM, WCBS "The Tony Tantillo Show."

Among the kudos that March has received are: Induction into Nation's Restaurant News 2001 Fine Dining Hall of Fame; four stars from the Forbes 2001 All-Star Eateries; four stars from Mobil Travel Guide 2002; four and a half stars in Passport To New York Restaurants 2001.