In 1992 he graduated with honors in Hotel Management and Culinary Performance from the Amerigo Vespucci Culinary Institute of Milan. His rigorous training called him to apprenticeships in renowned kitchens in Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland and Spain and this experience has given a French and Italian accent to his food. Although he has a preference for European ingredients and techniques, he also likes to cook fish and game, and Japanese and European vegetables are also a part of his culinary repertoire.
From his early beginnings in Europe, he searched for adventure and knowledge. In 1994, he moved to New York and in 1995 Sirio Maccioni (according to Ruth Reichl, “the most important restaurateur of the era.”) enlisted Chef Nicola to further refine his chops at Manhattan’s famed Le Cirque Restaurant. It was here that Chef Nicola trained with other noted chefs like Daniel Boulud.
They promptly recruited him for San Dominico, where he worked under Chef Odette Fada for a year and a half until he was promoted to Executive Chef of San Domenico in 2003.
While working at San Domenico it was issued a 3-Star rating by the New York Times, he was among the first chef pioneers to participate in “NYC Restaurant Week” started by Mayor Rudy Giuliani. He was selected as chef for the 45th Grammy Awards, in collaboration with Odette Fada and Sandro Fioritti.