One of the things that really blew us away during the interview process was his relationship with each ingredient he cooks with. “I have always been inspired by the story of the food I use,” says Maraziti. “Understanding the origin and life that each component lived prior to reaching my kitchen is so important.” Nic finds inspiration in the ingredients and products themselves and the story that each of them tell individually. For him, it isn’t just separate ingredients. The terroir, the sweat and dirt and love behind each carrot, short rib, onion, or glass of wine is what makes cooking at Rainshadow so exciting and filled with potential.
Maraziti grew up in Aspen, Colorado and moved to Oregon in 2007. “Central Oregon was a great place to land at a young age. It was such an easy transition into independence,” says Maraziti. He enjoyed the foreign yet familiar feel of Central Oregon enough to return after spending over a decade in Portland honing his culinary skills while working in kitchens such as The Bent Brick, Ava Genes, Bar Casa Vale, and Tournant.
“Nostalgia, comfort, and community are at the forefront of my kitchen ethos and what drive my passion.” He credits his mom, Sherri, and grandma, Gloria, as his biggest inspirations. “The shared experience of coming together around a table. The value that a meal can bring to the loved ones around me. Just think of Thanksgiving and apple pie. That is why I love farm-to-table cooking.” The value that these women gave to a meal with family helped Maraziti realize the importance and possibility a shared meal could hold.
Chef Maraziti’s goal is to “continue trying to connect with and better understand the seasons and reasons Central Oregon is so unique.” This full story approach to ingredients and menus comes from his personal relationship with all aspects of the culinary experience. Maraziti has worked as a butcher and, from a young age, as a farmer. The personal relationship Maraziti has to ingredients comes directly from his hands-on experience behind the scenes. “I want to show the true connection between food and agriculture at the table. I want that connection to deepen what is happening on the plate for guests at the Kitchen. I want our guests to find the beauty in what is seasonally available and experience the dynamic of a food system that is more locally and seasonally driven, so they can relinquish the clutch of the commodity food system.” This passion is why we are so excited to have Chef Nic Maraziti at Rainshadow Organics.