Chef Nik is of Australian-Malaysian heritage and is the eldest of six siblings. Born in Selangor, Malaysia, he grew up under the cooking influence of his father, who used to own an Italian restaurant in Brisbane, Australia. This led to him developing an interest in cooking from an early age. At the age of 15, he started picking up cooking skills from his father and supplemented his talents with reading culinary books and websites. The first dish that he learnt to cook from his father was a French dessert, Crepe Suzette.
In 2011, Chef Nik was one of 24 finalists picked out of 500 contestants in the first season of MasterChef Malaysia. The show brought national spotlight to his cooking talent. With a burgeoning cooking career, Chef Nik decided to put his business education on hold and focus on the culinary arts.
From end 2012 to 2016, Chef Nik embarked on a culinary journey with his father, opening comfort food café PickNik in Kuala Lumpur. With an open kitchen design, the restaurant serves up tasty contemporary dishes such as Grilled Lamb Cutlet with Kimchi Chilli Paste and Spaghetti Aglio Olio.
Chef Nik starred in Asian Food Channel original series Tea Twist, in which he created yummy tea-based drinks anytime, anywhere, and Cooking for Love where he and his co-star, Sarah Benjamin are pitted against each other to create affordable dishes for special family events! He is currently hosting Cooking For Love 2, which is slated to premiere on AFC in October 2016.
Chef Nik aspires to write a book on the philosophy of Malaysian ‘kampong’ cooking. He believes that such a publication would help to bring recognition to traditional Malay cuisine as the cuisine and its unique cooking methods have never been documented in such detail before.