Farm Fresh Meals
Local Chef Nia Robello Brings Her Own Flair to Thanksgiving
Importance of cooking and family Traditions
Raised in Honolulu, Nia Robello learned to cook from her mother and both grandmothers. Growing up, cooking lessons became part of her family heritage, passed down through the generations. Hawaiian culture revolves around food preparation and family gatherings.
Family would always get together to eat, sing and dance, Nia said, adding that she dreamed of having her own kitchen and sharing her love of food from as early as she can remember.
The concept of family holds its importance especially for the Thanksgiving holiday. Nia said her family will gather with good food and music to create new memories. She has partnered with ChefCentury to ensure that many of our local homeless can have a traditional Thanksgiving meal this year.
Diversity of flavor
Nia’s mixed heritage of Hawaiian, Puerto Rican, Filipino and Cuban gives her food tremendous flavor diversity. She said many of her recipes started out as dishes handed down from family, but she has added a modern twist to make them healthier. She often substitutes more accessible ingredients for health, flavor and/or freshness.
Her Thanksgiving menu is no exception. She said many of the basic recipes come from her family, but she has experimented with different spices and other flavors to make them her own.
From festivals to meal prep to local events
Nia attended a year of culinary school in Hawaii before coming to the South Bay in 2001, still intent on starting her own food business. But starting any business has complications, and starting a food business often requires grueling hours. Nia began with a booth at a local festival called Dia de San Juan, founded by the Western Puerto Rican Association. Festival days began at 6 a.m., putting up the tent. With the help of five family members, she cooked onsite and often didn’t return home until after 8 p.m.
Nia has come a long way from festivals, to cooking for The Chamber of Commerce Saratoga, The Chamber of Commerce Concord Woman’s Networking Group, Dress for Success and providing fresh healthy meals to people around the Bay Area.
Farm to table menu
Nia’s recipes offer freshness as well as flavor. Using colorful, organic produce and grass-fed meats from local farmers’ markets. Offerings change according to season to highlight the freshest fruits, vegetables and herbs she can find.
She enjoys cooking but loves it when her clients enjoy the many dishes offered on her menu. She created Gourmet by NK (Nia’s Kitchen) to help people travel a healthy, yet delicious culinary journey. Her passion for food incorporates island flavors, modern comforts and her own creative twist on traditional dishes.