Chef de Cuisine, Café Boulud
Four Seasons Tenure
- Since 2012
- First Four Seasons Assignment: Sous Chef, Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach
- Four Seasons Hotel Dubai International Financial Centre; Regent Singapore (formerly a Four Seasons Hotel); Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach, Florida; The Office, Delray Beach, Florida
- Detroit, Michigan, USA
- Associate’s Degree, Culinary Arts/Chef Training, Le Cordon Bleu Miami, Florida
Nicholas Trosien has been the right person in the right place at the right time throughout his life. From his marriage to his career, it is no wonder he is the new Chef de Cuisine at Café Boulud and its sibling d│bar by Daniel Boulud at Four Seasons Hotel Toronto.
A youthful-looking 32 when named to the position in 2019, Trosien arrived in the back-of-the-house with a creative touch, Four Seasons-style management and leadership chops, and culinary worldliness nurtured through assignments in Asia and the Middle East. He’s the type of chef that leads by example and loves to promote teamwork and unity, he says.
“Talent should always be placed strategically. My passion in the kitchen is both in the food and the people. My goal is to inspire and develop the team around me while continuously enhancing the menu and overall guest experience.” Indeed, Trosien frequently sets up culinary competitions to get creative juices flowing in the kitchen, believing “100 percent that when multiple hands are involved, the team will take more ownership and feel a better sense of pride in the work they do.”
Meantime, Trosien takes inspiration from local seasonal products and the inviting air of a French brasserie that make Café Boulud what it is. “Ontario has such great local farms that produce such beautiful products. It’s truly a pleasure to work with Toronto’s best ingredients in the kitchen.”
Trosien was 15 or so when he started as a pot washer at a restaurant near his home in Livonia, Michigan, and eventually worked his way to the line for the opportunity to cook. “It was a busy restaurant. There was nothing glamorous about it, but it was so exciting. The thrill and the rush of service got me hooked.”
He gradually grew on the line while attending a local college, studying computer science with hopes of using technology to further his talent for drawing. As time went on, however, he knew he belonged in the kitchen. “I decided if I was going to stick with it, I wanted to be the best I could be.”
So he headed to South Florida to hone his skills at Le Cordon Bleu Miami while working part-time as a prep chef at a bistro. It was a pivotal moment in his life as he met both his wife Carmen and his mother-in-law. “Yes, it’s funny story. I was spending my days in culinary school with my future mother-in-law while working nights with my future wife. One day at the bistro, she came by to pick up her daughter and I pieced it all together.”
Trosien moved on to work for a famous James Beard award-winning chef in multiple restaurants leading up to his marriage. As the wedding day approached, his priorities began to change and he wanted to be able to provide a better lifestyle for both of them.
Again, the right talent in the right place at the right time: the Food & Beverage Director and Hotel Manager of Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach were occasional customers of a restaurant where Trosien was head chef. They invited him to come by and during his visit he prepared a tasting and checked out the Resort. It was just the right fit: he joined as a Sous Chef in 2012 and he’s been with the company ever since.
Trosien’s Four Seasons career has taken him far and wide: first to Singapore, then to Dubai, now Toronto, where he arrived as Chef de Cuisine. The travel was important to his growth as a chef, he says. “It exposed me to other cultures and cuisines and really evolved my skillset and management style to the chef I am today.”
Now experiencing all that Canada has to offer, Trosien is very happy being in Toronto within easy distance of his family for the first time in many years. “There is so much heart and soul in this city and such a great variety of cuisines and cultures on the restaurant scene. Every week Carmen and I go out and find a new place for dinner. We absolutely love it here.”