Nicholas Mercogliano

Nick has made an impact on foodservice by enhancing cafe offerings and teaching ServSafe skills.


Sous Chef, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
New Brunswick, NJ
Age: 22
Education: Bachelor’s degree in culinary management from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts; associate degree in culinary arts from The Culinary Institute of America
Years at organization: 2

Why Selected?

According to Tony Almeida, director, food and nutrition, Nick has made an impact on foodservice by:
  • Creating several action station themes to enhance café offerings 
  • Teaching ServSafe and basic food preparation skills to hot and cold production staff
  • Visiting patients weekly to help improve Press Ganey scores

Get to know

Q. What has been your proudest accomplishment?

Receiving my Certified Chef de Cuisine at the age of 21 and serving as secretary on the board of directors of the American Culinary Federation’s (ACF) Jersey Shore Chef’s Association Chapter.

Q. What would you say you excel at over more seasoned colleagues?

My willingness to grow and learn. My age can be a barrier. I love to prove myself every day and earn [fellow workers’] respect.

Q. What's the best career advice you've been given?

Always reach for the stars. Never give up, set high goals, work hard and never stop learning.

Q. What's been the biggest challenge you've had to overcome?

My age. Being 22 years old, I have to prove every day that I have great culinary and leadership skills. I have no room for error. I get judged every day.

Q. What's been your most rewarding moment?

There are three: Being named 2013 Chef of the Year by the ACF’s Jersey Shore Chef’s Association, being named to ACF National Certification Commission Chair Member and creating the RWJ White Toque Culinarians website.

Q. What's been your funniest on-the-job disaster?

When I was working in a small restaurant, the boss left me in charge with his wife. I had bacon dripping in the back and the paper caught fire. The wife completely freaked out and thought the entire restaurant was going to burn down.

Q. What can you look back at now and laugh at?

I was just hired for my CIA externship and I ended up breaking my wrist and hand. It was extremely difficult and painful, performing line duties with one hand in a cast for eight weeks.

What would you like to accomplish in your career short term?

To obtain my credentials as a certified executive chef (CEC). This will be a great accomplishment at the age of 24.



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