The latest season of “Storyteller in the Kitchen” marks Nick Sellino’s 31st anniversary on public television. Nick Stellino’s path to his successful career as a television chef and cookbook author began in Italy, where he grew up in a family of accomplished cooks who shared their knowledge and love of cooking with him.
Nick was born and raised in Palermo, a city rich in culture, music and culinary tradition. Life there was good and he was surrounded by family. But from early childhood, Nick dreamed of moving to America. In 1975, at the age of 17, he achieved that goal. The move was a dream come true wrapped in a series of challenges, but Nick had always loved America, and a good challenge. By the late 1980s, he had built a successful career as a stockbroker.
Nick’s Wall Street career was lucrative, but he realized something was missing. He had come from a world where food, love and family were deeply intertwined and had developed a passion for cooking at an early age. He decided to pursue a culinary career, believing that “if you do what you love and invest in it your dedication and your passion, you will be successful.”
With no formal experience, Nick was told he couldn’t work as a chef. Not to be denied a job in the industry, he initially took a job as a dishwasher. He went on to apprentice with some of the best chefs in America. While working in the restaurant business, he realized that he wanted to share his enthusiasm for cooking with others and that a television cooking show would be the best way to do that.
Fueled by the same energy, passion and entrepreneurial vision that had taken him from Palermo to Wall Street, Nick began calling television production companies, fully committed to making his dream of a new TV series come true. That commitment led to a career that exceeded his expectations.
Today, Nick Stellino has multiple television series to his credit, along with 12 cookbooks. His cooking shows are seen on public television stations across the United States and are syndicated throughout Latin America, Eastern Europe, South Africa, and the Middle East.
Nick has made guest appearances on news and talk shows including ABC’s Good Morning America, NBC’s Today and The Oprah Winfrey Show, as well as on Italian television. He has been featured in publications including The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Bon Appétit, The Magazine of La Cucina Italiana and Robb Report.
For many years Nick has been an active supporter of the American Red Cross. For seven years, he prepared the menu for the Red Cross annual Red Tie Affair dinner in Santa Monica, Calif. He also spent months raising increasingly large donations for the organization. In 2011, the Red Cross recognized his efforts with the Tiffany Award for Most Humanitarian Chef.
At the heart of Nick’s personal style are creativity, humor, and a belief in the importance of good manners and the value of hard work. His accomplishments are many and varied:
He has taught vampires how to cook. Nick was seen showing how to prepare an Italian dish in the hit movie Twilight.
He can build his own watch. An avid watch collector, Nick jumped at the chance to assemble his own watch at the Maurice Lacroix factory in Switzerland.
The exclusive Courture Time Jury Prize Awards asked Nick to be a juror for their American Watch Competition Awards in Las Vegas and to announce the winners.
He designs his own clothes. His unique “bespoke” style was featured in an exclusive photoshoot and interview with Astor & Black Custom Clothiers.
He cooks with his friends. Nick Stellino Cooking with Friends, which premiered during his 15th season on national public television, featured Nick cooking elegant yet easy-to-prepare meals with a series of internationally renowned chefs.
Nick lives with his wife of 40 years, Nanci, and their cats, Luca and Luigi. He spends what little free time he has at their home in Southern California, cooking for Nanci, indulging his love of tailored clothing and, with his Italian passion for storytelling, and writing short stories.
Today, 31 years after his arrival on the national television scene with his first cooking show, Nick continues to approach his work as an old-fashioned artisan—one who is in love with his craft and who is passionate about helping people rediscover the simple joys of good food.