He may be young in the culinary scene but Nick Olinik is definitely on our watch list. We managed to catch the man behind the good food at Camp Kilo Charcoal Club – a roast joint with some of the heartiest meats in town – in Singapore amidst his busy schedule to chat about his favourite cuisines and what else makes him tick.
Hi Nick! Tell us a more about yourself?
I was born in Ternopil, Ukraine. Moved to Singapore with my mom when I was 4 and stayed until I was 14. At which, I moved to California for 7 years before coming back to serve National Service.
What made you got into culinary?
Remember in kindergarten when your teacher asked everyone what they want to be when they grew up, while the rest were going :” Policeman! Doctor! Fireman!”, I wanted to be a chef. Food was a huge part of my life growing up and the fondest memories I have are of my mom and I making Pelmeni (Ukrainian dumplings).
Which is your favourite cuisine?
Thai and Mexican definitely top the list. The flavours are just incredible! Local Singaporean cuisines are also unbelievable, you can never go wrong with chicken rice or sambal stingray.
What’s one thing people don’t know about you?
I’ve got six siblings, and they live all over the world.
Where do you draw inspirations to create a new dish?
I would have to say when I come across a flavour or combination of flavours that are unforgettable, I try to recreate it in my own vision. I also draw inspirations from my idols such as Anthony Bourdain and Francis Mallmann.
Besides culinary, what are your other interests?
I love kicks, ink and techno music.
What’s next in store for Nick Olinik?
I don’t wanna spoil the surprise, but I can promise that you won’t be disappointed 😉
To my mom, for being there for me no matter what.
To Kilo and its owners for giving me an opportunity to grow and learn.
And last but not least, all the past chef and cooks I’ve worked with whom have shaped me into what I’ve become.