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About Nico


Where it all started…

Born and raised around Napoli, Nico grew up eating real slow food. Family food. Handmade with love and attention following recipes passed down over many generations. The smell of fresh pasta and baked bread spread throughout the house he grew up in, where someone was always cooking and where eating was the glue that brought the family and the community together.

Today, Nico brings a taste of his home – with his own twist – to Amsterdam, leading his workshops with the same passion and enthusiasm for homemade food, and creating a unique learning and culinary experience.

Just like all Italians, Nico got his love and passion for cooking from his Nonna. As a kid he would carefully watch her mix the polpette and fry them from a distance (always stealing the first ones of course). Slowly he started to help her and, as he likes to refer to it, began attending Nonna’s informal cooking school, learning to think creatively and work with whatever was available at the time, without wasting anything. With no doubt, she’s the one to thank for his creative spirit.

By the time he was 18, Nico was working full time, while also going to school. It is during those years of hard work at a local bakery that Nico met his first love in the kitchen: the dough. Working late at night to prepare the dough for the following day, and waking up early every morning to find a whole new product was fascinating to him. He loved how much you can make from such simple ingredients and was fascinated by the way the dough changes overnight.
Along with his job at the bakery, Nico also started doing his first catering, events and birthday parties.

In 2012 Nico moved to Amsterdam and worked in several restaurants, where he improved his technique and learned about other cuisines. Among others, he worked at Solo, Café Nassau and Scheepskameel. During this time, he grew both professionally and personally, developing his own style and approach, however he always felt like there wasn’t enough space for creativity and experimenting. Being a highly energetic, creative and proactive person, Nico felt the need to break free from the safe walls of established restaurants and start doing his own thing. And that’s how Nico’s Trattoria started taking shape, inspired by his childhood, out of passion for slow handmade comfort food and out of the need to express himself through cooking.

With Nico’s Trattoria, Nico brings together his professional experience as a chef and his love for soulful, slow, Italian family food. While staying true to the classics, he also likes to experiment and add his own twist to traditional recipes (green tagliatelle, anyone?), packing an unexpected taste. During his workshops he recreates the atmosphere of his childhood home, where good food was shared with other people in a friendly, safe and fun environment, staying true to his motto “make pasta, make friends”.

make pasta make friends