Cooking Channel personality and cookbook author, Nikki Dinki is changing the way home cooks think about vegetables by making them the star of each dish. Through her distinctive approach to cooking inventive yet accessible recipes, demonstrated on her YouTube channel, NikkiDinkiCooking, she earned the opportunity to appear on the ninth season of Food Network Star and subsequently co-hosted Cooking Channel’s Junk Food Flip, with Bobby Deen. Stealing the spotlight with her unique vegetable-focused recipes, Nikki’s first cookbook, Meat On The Side (St. Martin’s Press, June 7th) features her semi-vegetarian cuisine and proves that with a little creativity and direction, anyone can turn ingredients like summer squash, root vegetables, and winter greens, into tasty meals that even the pickiest eaters will enjoy.
From Picky Eater to Food Obsessed
Growing up in Buffalo, NY, Nikki’s food pyramid consisted only of cereal, cheese, and bread—earning her the nickname ‘Picky Nikki’ at the dinner table. Following high school, Nikki moved to New York City to pursue her artistic ambitions. Living in a constant state of low energy from the lack of a balanced diet and turning down one too many dinner invitations to the city’s hottest restaurants, Nikki knew she could no longer continue such a restrictive lifestyle and her mission to try new foods began. Starting with the tomato, Nikki took her first taste of a vegetable since the age of 10. While it wasn’t initially an easy feat, she learned she could eventually improve and expand her palette with repetition. She began experimenting with new ingredients and developing tasty recipes that used vegetables in completely new and creative ways. The more flavors she tried, the more her world opened and her relationship with food completely changed. Food became a fun, enjoyable adventure and she couldn’t wait to experiment with her new found flavors.
Sharing her Perspective with the World
Nikki’s journey with food gave her a unique perspective on cooking that she was excited to share with the world. A born performer with experience from years in acting, photography and writing, she combined her passions and launched a series of cooking videos on YouTube. After sharing her recipe ideas and videos, she was offered regular airtime as the food expert on NYC’s WBAI 99.5 FM radio. With a growing fan base and endless recipe ideas, she needed a home to serve as the hub for her creations and founded NikkiDinkiCooking.com, where she continues to upload new “Meat on the Side”-inspired recipes every week.
Expanding her Brand
In May 2013 Nikki was selected as a contestant on the ninth season of Food Network Star, where she emphasized her semi-vegetarian lifestyle. Although her Food Network journey came to an end, her Meat on the Side philosophy resonated with viewers and she was offered her own show on Cooking Channel. In Junk Food Flip, Nikki and co-host Bobby Deen travel the country looking for the most-delicious and popular guilty pleasures that they flip into lighter dishes that are still indulgent and taste great. Her first cookbook, Meat on the Side (St. Martin’s Press, June 7th) features over 100 innovative, vegetable focused recipes, all with 4oz. of meat or less.
Nikki currently lives in Manhattan with her husband Evan and a new baby, Ivy. She can often be found entertaining friends and family, tending to over 80 vegetable plants on her terrace garden or “personal produce section,” and in the kitchen where she never stops experimenting.
For more information about Nikki, contact The Brooks Group at 212-768-0860 or @BrooksGroupPR.