Aniedra Nichols

Aniedra Nichols

Executive Chef and Owner at Tammen's Fish Market

The culinary industry is, and always has been, a passion of mine. I pursued other careers but I knew, without a doubt, I would be in this industry. I love to learn, teach, and mentor in this field. It is an amazing feeling to make someone smile with a dish that you've created or teach a cook to make a new dish. I also love that every day brings a new surprise or challenge and the possibility of meeting so many people.

Take chances. If you have the kitchen as your oyster, try new things. It’s okay to mess up; throw it away and start over.
Taste everything that you make - you aren’t going to nail flavors every time, no matter how good you think they are.
The only stupid question is the one that is not asked.
Try not to take the stress of the day home with you; leave it at the shop.
I love to go out to eat, as well as traveling to eat, to see the current happenings in the culinary world. I read as much as I can to keep up with what is going on and who’s doing what. I love the Flavor Bible and am ecstatic that they have come out with the Vegetarian Flavor Bible - my latest obsession. Also, I keep cooking and making menus and dishes that expand on my knowledge of food. I like to go to different countries, sampling new cuisines, and then experimenting with new dishes, such as Middle Eastern. I love this industry - you can never get bored because it is forever changing. There are so many cultures to experiment with and learn about. I love food - learning it, cooking it and, of course, eating it.
The end result is what keeps me motivated. Knowing that you will get out of the weeds at some point, mostly because you don’t have a choice, and doing so with no, or very few, mistakes, is the best feeling.
Letting the crew know that they did an awesome job and thanking them at the end of the shift is something I try to do every day. I have found that constructive criticism can be motivational, along with letting them know when their food looks and tastes good. Also, jumping on line when necessary and having the team see that you know what it’s like to get crushed, is helpful and rewarding.
Keep it simple; mise en place is going to make your life so much easier. Good knife skills and time management are also essential in this business.
Tyler Wiard had a major impact on my career, starting at the Fourth Story during my internship. He is a talented chef and has taught me a lot about food. I learned that you need to eat everything together when it is a composed dish. He also taught me about seasonality, that mise en place is essential, and consolidation is key.

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