Ideas & Trends

Nakia grew up in a small town in southern Indiana.  She came to Denver in 2012 to attend Johnson and Wales.  While in school, Nakia completed two internships – pastry cook at French Lick Hotel and pastry intern at Denver Museum of Nature and Science.  She graduated in 2014 with Associates in Baking and Pastry Arts and Bachelor’s in Food Service Management.  She enjoys hiking, camping, snowboarding, yoga, home DIY projects, gardening, and fostering kittens with DDFL.

How long have you been at SRO?  3.5 years

What made you want to become a chef?  I’ve wanted to work with food for so long that I don’t really remember what drew me to it.  When I was a kid I was a major planner, so going one day without knowing what I wanted to be when I grew up was unimaginable.  After cycling through many different careers, I landed on baking about 12 years ago and it hasn’t changed since.  I decided I wanted to be a pastry chef (opposed to the savory side) because I thought the science of baking was fascinating.

What is your greatest source of inspiration?  Nature and travelling – When I travel to new places I try to eat as much as I possibly can and like to keep an eye out for ingredients unique to that place.   

What ingredients will we always find in your kitchen? Do you have season favorites? Dessert Kitchen – dark chocolate, fresh fruit (seasonal); Kitchen at home – spring mix, cucumber, bell peppers, green chile, orzo, lemons, McCormick’s Montreal Steak, fresh herbs; Most meals I make are focused to the season. For the end of March into April, I like to use asparagus, bok choy, cauliflower, rhubarb, citrus fruits especially grapefruit, apricots, and lamb.