'Chef' was her career goal from childhood
Barreira, 30, is the corporate chef and marketing manager for Great New Hampshire Restaurants, which owns T-Bones in Manchester, Salem, Hudson, Bedford, Laconia, and Derry; Cactus Jack’s in Manchester and Laconia; and The Copper Door in Bedford.
“My kids know me either as ‘mom’ or as ‘Chef Nicole,’” she said. “I think they believe Chef Nicole is my real name.”
“My dad is Portuguese and my mother is Sicilian so cooking was something you did whether you liked it or not,” she said. “My sisters hated cooking, but I loved it. I knew it was what I wanted to do.”
“He said, ‘go get a job and you can buy whatever you want,’” she said. “So I did.”
“I wanted to be a chef. I didn’t want to own a restaurant, because I know how much of your life goes into that,” she said. “And I knew I would want to be a mom at some point.”
“I get bored easily so I’m always reading, always trying to learn new things, and that’s what I love about food,” she said. “No matter how much you know about food, you’ll never know everything.”
“I’m only 5’ 1” in my clogs, and in the kitchen I’m always surrounded by all these tall men,” she said. “When I saw the pink coat online, I said ‘I must have this.’”
Chef Nicole Barreira’s Buffalo Chicken Egg Rolls
20 egg roll wrappers
8 cups marinated chicken tenders, grilled and chopped fine
1 cup celery, chopped fine
1 cup shredded carrot
1/2 cup scallions sliced thin
6 oz mixed shredded cheese
6 oz blue cheese dressing
4 oz water for wrapping
1. Grill marinated tenders until cooked through. When cool, fine chop the chicken.
2. Mix together the celery, carrot, scallions, cheese, buffalo sauce and blue cheese dressing in a bowl.
4. Place egg roll wrappers on a cutting board, 5 at a time, so they look like diamonds. Towards the front point of each, lay 2 ounces of the buffalo mixture.
7. Drop egg roll into fryer for 6 minutes, until golden and crispy.
8. Plate with a pile of shredded lettuce topped with shredded carrot and a sprinkle of scallion.
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