Chef Daniel DiStefano. Photo provided by: Made Nice

Meet Chef Daniel DiStefano of Made Nice, a casual dining restaurant located in NYC with roots in fine dining. The meals prepared at Made Nice marry healthy and fresh seasonal ingredients together to serve guests the very best while on-the-go.

QWith roots based in fine dining, what caused you to make the switch to Made Nice?

Chef Daniel DiStefano: I think there’s no better way to gain a foundation in the kitchen or in a restaurant than by working in fine dining.  It teaches you discipline and a strong work ethic, and you gain unique experiences that don’t exist in other restaurant environments.  Unfortunately, only a handful of people in the world can afford to experience fine dining. What brought me to Made Nice was the opportunity to give many, many more people a taste of fine dining, every day.

Q: Made Nice is grab-and-go made healthy, how do you keep things fresh and the customers coming back?

DD: We change the majority of the menu seasonally, about four times per year, but we are constantly trying new flavor profile and techniques.  We’re constantly evolving our menu to keep things exciting and fresh — we actually rely on change to drive our creativity.

QWhat are your two favorite ingredients to combine that many may not think go together?

DD: We often use three unexpected ingredients together to season our soups and sauces: salt, lime, and cayenne. The salt brings out the flavor, the lime balances acidity and the cayenne adds just a hint of spice. On their own, each of these ingredients has a unique flavor profile, but together they create the ultimate seasoning spice.

QHow can our readers make healthy eating a part of their everyday lifestyle?

DD: I think most people believe eating clean or cooking from scratch is just too time-consuming. As with most things, planning ahead definitely makes it quicker and easier. In the kitchen, we often refer to the French term “mis en place,” or having everything in place.  If you take a bit of time on the weekend to plan ahead for the week, it makes eating well throughout the week much easier!

QDoes your menu change seasonally? How does incorporating seasonal produce add to the flavor of your dishes?

DD: Our menu changes seasonally about four to five times per year.  We always want to serve food in its best light, when it’s freshest and tastes best. Being in NYC and having the Union Square Greenmarket just a few blocks away makes it very easy to stay inspired.

 

Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity. 


Made Nice NYC is located at the following location:

Made Nice NYC

LA Fitness North Bergen

Distance to closest LA Fitness: 5.1 miles to North Bergen LA Fitness 


Lime Yogurt Vinaigrette

Photography by: Evan Sung

Ingredients

 

  • 2 cups Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 Granny Smith Apple, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 Cucumber, peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 cup Lime Juice
  • Cayenne Pepper to taste
  • Salt to taste

Method

 

  1. Combine the apple and cucumber in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl, and add the yogurt lime juice.
  3. Whisk until all the ingredients are incorporated.
  4. Season with salt and cayenne pepper to taste.
  5. Toss with kale, charred avocado, shaved radish, cucumber and apple (or whatever vegetables you like!) and serve.


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