Ristorante Nicola Welcomes New Executive Chef Justin Melnick
Source: Ristorante Nicola
Dallas | June 18, 2012
Executive Chef Justin Melnick is a young rising star whose inspirations come from having worked with chefs at top restaurants in the Northeast and now Dallas. Chef Justin has traveled in Italy, and has a true devotion to cooking with fresh, local, organic products and sustainably raised animals. He has traveled throughout Italy where a highlight was preparing meals and dining at the home of some Italian friends, and also dining with the family of Sergio Mottura, the renowned Italian wine maker whose estate is nestled on the border of northern Lazio and Umbria.
His love for cooking began during a high school summer stint running the kitchen for a family owned restaurant, Tutto del Cose Buono, where he was left with the reigns while the chef traveled abroad. He decided to sharpen his talents gained in high school and went on to receive his bachelor's degree in Professional Studies from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. Upon completion of his education, he began his work at respected Boston restaurants including The Butcher Shop, a Barbara Lynch restaurant, and Olives, a Todd English restaurant. At Olives, he worked along side Executive Chef Robert Gonzalves and received guidance from Corporate Executive Chef Joe Brenner and Chef/Owner Todd English. In 2006 he joined Tomasso Trattoria & Enoteca as Sous Chef under the tutelage of then Executive Chef Tony Bettencourt. He became Tomasso Trattoria Executive Chef in December 2007.
In 2012 Justin decided to bring his talents, and his family to the Lone Star State where he joins Ristorante Nicola, in Dallas. He now brings "an authentic taste of Italy" to the Park Cities location. Many of the inspirations for the menu at Ristorante Nicola come from Justin's travels in Italy. Chef Justin thrives when utilizing fresh, local, organic products, and support of smaller farms which raise animals sustainably, in a natural, hormone and antibiotic free environment. Justin feels hard work and passion, with everything made from scratch, is the way to make great food and he inspires staff in the kitchen to share the same philosophy.
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