Nicole Gaffney is a chef, writer and television personality best known for being second runner up on the 10th season of the reality cooking competition, Food Network Star. On the show, Nicole brought attention to her “Coastal Cuisine,” cooking up dishes that boast bright, clean flavors, using fresh ingredients and simple preparations.
Nicole got her start in South Jersey when she started The Dinner Belle, a personal chef service offering meal solutions to busy families, along with swanky dinner parties and cooking lessons. Born and raised at the Jersey shore (Atlantic City), Nicole left for a few years to attend college at Louisiana State University. There, she earned a degree in communications, and embraced not only the culture, but the cuisine. Upon returning to South Jersey, Nicole completed one semester at the Academy of the Culinary Arts before starting her business.
Nicole sought to combine her passion for food with her background in communications, so in 2012 she began hosting two Philadelphia based cooking shows, “Best of the Best” and “The Chef’s Kitchen.” Nicole also starred as a cook in a commercial for Dorot frozen herbs, as well as a series of cooking videos for Santa Sweet tomatoes.
More than anything, Nicole loves teaching and inspiring others to be fearless in the kitchen. She can often be found doing live cooking demonstrations at local festivals, and volunteers her time at various local charities teaching kids basic cooking skills and preparing meals for families in need. Nicole also writes a food blog called Too Full for School where she shares recipes, photographs and personal anecdotes about food.
Currently, Nicole resides in Brigantine, NJ with her husband Chaser, a licensed architect and Atlantic City fireman. When they aren’t working, they enjoy time together paddle surfing, gardening, going to concerts & comedy shows, and eating and drinking with friends.