Chef Nick LoCicero

The Italian Prince

In walks handsome, 20-year-old Chef Nick LoCicero, son of Chef Duke LoCicero, owner of Café Giovanni. With his diploma as fresh as June 12 from the Culinary Institute of America, young Chef Nick smiles and shakes hands, while Chef Duke quickly announces, “He is the person you should write about for being such a fashionable young man. Nick loves clothes and while I wear cowboy boots, he sticks with designer suits.”

Chef Nick showed up at the appointed time for his Biz photograph, dressed as a candidate for the next Men of Fashion competition in New Orleans – complete with a Calvin Klein suit, blue shirt and matching silk designer handkerchief in his pocket and wearing a tie neatly held in place with a George Rodrique Blue Dog tie tack. “He’s our ‘Italian Prince,’” Chef Duke says proudly. “Even his full name of Nicholas has a bit of a royal ring to it and perfectly fits him. He is great in the kitchen, but he could win a ‘Best Dressed’ competition hands down.”

How does Chef Nick describe his fashion style? “It is a perfect mix of conservative and ‘out there,’” he says. “Kind of like a perfect storm.” In other words, while he loves to dress in the conservative style you may find in a national magazine for men when out on a special date, he is just at home wearing a head-to-toe Who Dat black and gold outfit for a Saints game.

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“I’ve been told I am an old soul in some ways because I love dressing up,” he says. “If it was socially acceptable to wear a suit everyday, then I definitely would do so.” He also adds that he takes good care of his clothes and hangs everything up neatly once he gets home and changes into something casual.

Of course, his costume de’rigueur at work is a chef uniform. “It is a thrill for me to be working in Café Giovanni’s kitchen as a graduate chef,” he says. “I grew up in a restaurant and all my life I was amazed by the way food and great service could affect people physically and emotionally. Just to see something you created and crafted with your own hands bring another human being joy was incentive enough for me to become a chef.”

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Chef Nick considers himself fortunate to have done a six-month internship at Commander’s Palace while a student at the Culinary Institute of America. “It was wonderful training working in such a busy, well-run kitchen,” he says. “Honestly, I couldn’t wait to graduate and get in the kitchen working with my dad, so 12 days after my graduation I was hard at work at Café Giovanni.”

“A lot of people ask me why I decided to work with my father,” he continues. “I did it because I could see the potential the two of us could achieve together – the possibilities are endless. Some day I hope to have a restaurant of my own. I also want to promote permaculture – the development of agricultural ecosystems to be sustainable and self sufficient — to help people realize how important growing your own produce is to the future of humanity. I am still young and eager to learn more. I have so many opportunities ahead of me and I feel truly blessed.”

He may be limited to a chef’s jacket in the kitchen, yet he unabashedly says with his princely charm, “I love to impress so ‘dressing up’ is never overlooked.”

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