Today we'd like you to meet Chef Nicole Barreira, a fun and feisty part of the Great NH Restaurant team, better known as T-BONES, Cactus Jack's and Copper Door. She is the Corporate Chef for T-BONES & Cactus Jack's and is an intricate part of the marketing team for the company as a whole.
Additionally, Chef Barreira participates in many events on behalf of Great NH Restaurants through public appearances and she is very involved with customer relations, communications and Great NH Restaurants’ charitable trust, FEEDNH.org.
Chef Barreira's three small children are the highlight of her life and an inspiration for much of what she does. Chef Barreira is dedicated to feeding kids more healthfully and was an inaugural partner in the National Restaurant Association’s Kids LiveWell ™. She has developed a series of dishes called ‘In The Pink’® that are lower in fat, carbohydrates, and/or calories and Chef Barreira and Great NH Restaurants own ChefNicole.com ™, a website dedicated to having fun in the kitchen!
Her cooking approach is very clean and simple, highlighting ingredients without overly complicating dishes. She is very passionate about education as well and has earned her Associates degree in Culinary Arts, Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Administration, Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership and a Graduate Certificate in Marketing. Chef Barreira is also an adjunct professor at Southern NH University, teaching food & beverage pairing classes.
A little more about Chef Barreira:
What are you most influenced by in your cooking?
The season for sure. What ingredients are available at their peek of tastiness and local availability <3
What is your culinary background?
I’ve been cooking since I was a very small girl with my mom and family. We always hosted big family events filled with food. I started working in an actual restaurant when I was 14 years old as an after school and weekend job, while I was in a culinary CTE program at Alvirne High School. I have been working in kitchens since :). I received my culinary and restaurant management degrees after high school. I have been with Great NH Restaurants for almost 11 years now.
What is your favorite dish to make?
My favorite dish to make would be anything roasted. There's something about roasted meats, veggies, and starches that make me very happy.
How would you describe your restaurant's cuisine?
CJ’s definitely is Regional American. That menu is so fun, a great melting pot of flavors from across the country. Tex-Mex, Mexican, Southern, Cajun & Creole, New American, etc! T-BONES, great Steaks & Seafood. Definitely American fare...Burgers, great appetizers, salads, chicken, fish specialties and a GREAT children's menu.
What is your go-to item on your restaurant's menu?
Oh jeez, there is so much! I love our Jalapeño Pretzel Burger, Seared Salmon, Haddock and salads...But if I had an ultimate fav it would be CJ’s Chicken Tortilla Soup!