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Meet Nick Fay

Nick has been cooking for 4 years now, but cooking is just the most recent part of his story.
He grew up in Woodstock, Illinois – the town best known for that movie Groundhog Day with Bill Murray. Remember the town square? That’s Nick’s home town.
After high school, he moved to Chicago to pursue a career in film. He was one of the many people behind the scenes doing all the things to make the movies happen. He worked as a prop assistant which meant lots of time driving around Chicago in a box truck picking up things that were needed on set.
Then he played football in a semi-professional league. Nick quickly realized that it was hard to make a living playing Semi-pro ball, so off he went to college. While he was there he took a public speaking class and while working on a speech about the US Office of Strategic Services, the predecessor of today’s CIA, it got him thinking that maybe he would like to serve his country in some way. He concluded that the best way to get the experience he would need would be to join the army. So on a whim one day, he stopped at a recruiting station. Nick enlisted that day and went on to serve over ten years in the US Army Special Forces as a Green Beret weapons sergeant with the 7th Special Forces Group. While in 7th Group Nick did three combat tours in Afghanistan, one combat tour in Iraq, one in Guatemala and one in Columbia. While in Afghanistan in 2009 Nick was awarded the Bronze Star for actions in combat. He has also protected presidents on counter sniper details, met with Foreign Generals and heads of states, assisted in training and mentorship of allied special operations units to facilitate the protection of their people from the likes of terrorism and narco-terrorism. But a life of war can take a toll on a person and so he decided to leave the armed forces.
So, what does an elite soldier do after serving his country? Cook, of course. Restaurant kitchens have their own sense of order and comradery – not like the military per se, but certainly there is the sense that everybody is in it together, at least during service. Nick was drawn to food as a way to continue exploring the cultural connections that he felt from his time serving around the world. What an interesting way to continue his cultural exploration, but without getting shot at.