Chef Nicolas Tsikis

International Corporate Executive Chef

Alto-Shaam

Chef Nicolas Tsikis has 40 years of experience in the foodservice industry. Before immigrating to the U.S. from Greece, Nicolas had earned a degree in mechanical engineering and served in the Greek Navy with its Special Forces.

Nicolas received his formal culinary training at the Minneapolis Culinary Institute of Fine Arts and attended the Culinary Institute in New York.

Beginning in 1976, Chef Nicolas spent 11 years rising through the culinary ranks at Marriott Hotels, eventually becoming Executive Chef. During his time at Marriott, he opened 15 domestic and 12 international locations. Chef Nicolas also spent three years as Executive Chef at several Sheraton properties and ran the Milwaukee-area Midway Hotels.

After three months of pursuit, Alto-Shaam founder and original owner Jerry Maahs hired Chef Nicolas at Alto-Shaam in 1990. In addition to serving as chef at the World Headquarters in Wisconsin, Nicolas regularly travels to the Mediterranean, the Middle East, Africa, and the Asian Pacific rim. Chef Nicolas is fluent in English and Greek and can communicate in Arabic, Italian and Spanish.

Proofing Bread Dough

To proof bread dough, preheat the Cook & Hold oven to 110°F (43°C) and pour 2 cups of boiling water into the drip tray. Close the vents and insert the dough into the oven.  The dough will rise faster than usual because of the higher temperature.  Trying this in a convection oven would result in overheating of the oven, which would kill the yeast and end proofing.

For more kitchen techniques, check out the additional resources:

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