Stage Story: Nick Bahan

Nick staged at New York City's Restaurant DANIEL. He had the opportunity to experiment with new flavor profiles and combinations, as well as get a sense of what it's like to work at a high-level station. Most importantly, he discovered that the ability to work as part of a team is crucial to being a great chef.


What made you want to Stage at Restaurant DANIEL?

I originally wanted to work at Restaurant DANIEL because the restaurant has a reputation for being one of the greatest in the country. For my stage, I was highly driven and eager to learn more about the exquisite meals that the Garde Manger produces. I also hoped to work at the Meat and Fish Stations so I could develop a more well-rounded culinary repertoire. 

Can you describe what you did during your Stage?

My experience at Restaurant DANIEL was incredibly lively, and there was always something going on. I was thrilled to be working in this kitchen and couldn't wait to get started. On my first day, I began performing prep work and observing with another intern. That night, I assisted at the Canape station and met Chef Daniel Boulud. Each day was different, but mainly played out in a similar fashion. Although a fast-paced environment, I was up for the challenge. 

What stands out as some of the lessons that you learned during your experience?

I learned a great deal. As I obtained more responsibility toward the conclusion of my stage, I was allowed to do more and more. I was exposed to a variety of complex dishes and had the opportunity to assist in their plating and execution. We hosted a number of major events, and seeing world-renowned chefs feed 400+ guests was quite incredible. These chefs created intricate, exquisite dishes with many components, and the entire setup required an army of employees. I was able to try new flavor profiles and combinations, as well as get a taste of what it's like to operate at a high-level station. This event definitely taught me perseverance and discipline.

Overall, my time at Restaurant DANIEL was a fantastic learning experience that taught me a lot about myself. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I will never forget, and I am determined to pass on the things I learned at my next restaurant. 

This chance has greatly aided in the development of my skills. I was able to stage at one of the top restaurants in the world while in New York, and I credit this to receiving this funding and working in a hardworking kitchen. Because I will share stories, ideas, and approaches, this scholarship will benefit not only myself but also the individuals with whom I work going forward. This stage taught me that being a successful chef is all about the ability to collaborate with others as a team. I believe the relationships and resources I've obtained will be extremely beneficial to me and my coworkers going forward!

Photos from Nick's stage: