'Chef adds ingredients for positive impact on local community
Pvt. Nico Maclin, food service specialist, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, prepares a dish for the 3rd BCT Dining Facility's lunch menu, Feb. 21. "I love being able to add ingredients to make the dish a little bit more exciting than your average meal," said Maclin. (Photo by Sgt. Jennifer Brady/10th PCH)

With a dash of motivation and a hint of selfless service, Pvt. Nico Maclin, food service specialist, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, is bringing something new to the recipes of the 3rd BCT Dining Facility and to Fayetteville.

"Maclin really loves to cook and he cares about his job, you can tell by his attitude and it shows in his cooking. The dishes he creates are delicious," said Staff Sgt. John A. Rivera, shift leader, 3rd BCT DFAC. "His fresh ideas and motivation for the culinary arts have really motivated the other Soldiers here," he added.

Maclin's motivation as a Soldier is just the beginning -- he wants to impact the Fayetteville community. In an effort to reach out to the city, Maclin is planning a three-course dinner for the men and women of the Fayetteville Police Department. The dinner, planned for Saturday, is an opportunity for him to showcase his talents in the kitchen and show his gratitude and support to the officers.

"I wanted to do something positive in our community," said Maclin. "I chose the Fayetteville Police Department because, in an Army town like Fayetteville, these officers don't get the attention and gratitude they deserve. I wanted to do something for them and for the city of Fayetteville," he added.

Originally from Detroit, Maclin is new to the Fayetteville area, but he is not new to the kitchen. His love of cooking started when he was young and has grown to be his passion in life. As a boy he would prepare dinner with his father and that is where his interest in cuisine was sparked.

"My dad and I have been cooking together for as long as I can remember. We would try new things with old Family recipes," said Maclin about how he and his father bonded over cooking. "Even to this day, when I've come up with a dish that's truly unique and delicious, I still call him to show him what I've been up to. He really made me appreciate the art of cooking," he added.

With so much on his plate already, it is hard to imagine that Maclin would have time for anything else. But he is always striving to perfect his art and share his love of food. He has started filming an online cooking show and ultimately wants to open his own restaurant.

"I've started working on an online show where each episode features a new dish," said Maclin. "I want people to be entertained and learn something new," he said about the purpose of his show, "But my ultimate goal is to open a restaurant in my hometown. That would be a dream come true."

A cooking event in March and an online show are sure to keep Maclin busy, but he is always thinking about what he can do next. It is because of that kind of enthusiasm that he has captured the attention of those around him. He is a Soldier and an entrepreneur but to those who know him, he will always be "Chef Nico."

Page last updated Mon March 11th, 2013 at 10:55