Our latest “Meet a Dad” is Nick Martschenko, chef and owner of South End and Uncorked in New Canaan. Besides spending time with his three children, he loves food (of course), sports and anything outdoors. Read more to find out how he went from playing rugby to working at Gramercy Tavern to opening two local hotspots.
How many children do you have and what are their ages?
I have 3 amazing children… Anna is 13, Nicholas is 12 and Matthew is 8.
What is your favorite family activity?
Vacation if that counts. Otherwise pretty much anything outdoors and all sports. I have been a coach for travel baseball for quite some time, which I have really enjoyed.
Does your family love food as much as you do? Are they adventurous eaters?
My daughter mentioned eating is our favorite family activity. I have been very lucky that they are adventurous.
How did you go from playing rugby to becoming a chef?
By accident. They both found me. Favorite combined story was playing rugby in France while farming sheep’s milk for Société Roquefort Cheese.
What brought you from New York City to the suburbs to opening South End and Uncorked?
In 2006 I was at Gramercy Tavern, and Danny Meyer ended up buying out his partner Tom Colicchio. My first child Anna had just been born. I was offered an opportunity in Greenwich, CT. It seemed like a good time for a change.
Favorite part of the job?
Just being able to cook for people and make people have a good time and be happy. It can be an experience at South End, which approaches upscale. It can be an experience at Uncorked also, with people coming in for 30 minutes, but they eat the best burger. Creating a memory in their life, hopefully, and to create something they can think back on.
What are the dining options at your restaurants now that businesses are opening up?
We are looking forward to welcoming back guests inside the restaurants. At the moment we are offering contactless curbside, delivery and outdoor patio dining.
Has your dad (or grandfather) given you any great advice over the years that you’d like to share, in honor of Father’s Day?
There is not a man prouder than my father. His genuine support has been tremendous. My grandfather owns his own small business. We are always sharing stories.
We like to support local businesses. What are your favorite places in the area to:
Eat out: If I am not at South End or Uncorked, you can usually find me at Tequila Mockingbird or Cherry Street.
Grab a drink with friends: Bar Taco or Washington Prime
Have a date night: I’m cooking at home for that
Spend time together as a family outdoors: Always the beach or playing any sport
Grab coffee: Zumbachs
Workout: Biking at the Mianus River Park