WALLINGFORD — A chef at Tata’s Restaurant’s will be featured in “Chef’s Boot Camp” — a new Food Network show expected to launch soon.
Jaida Nieves has been chef at Tata’s, 34 Center St., for the past two years. “Chef’s Boot Camp” allows chefs from around the country to to work on their skills, according to Jessica Shaw, a show producer.
“They come to Chef Boot Camp and they get mentored for a few days by a high level chef,” Shaw said. “Hopefully by the end they will have improved on all the things they were looking to improve.”
Few other details about the show have been released. According to the casting flyer, the show “combines state of the art training and a little tough love. This boot camp will revitalize and seriously upgrade each chef’s culinary prowess in order to win their boss’ approval.”
Nieves was in New York in November learning new skills that could be applied to Tata’s. She enjoyed the experience.
“When we got there we were able to show them our skills,” Nieves said. “What we like to cook from our places and then the chef wanted to challenge us and have us make some of his recipes as well.”
The mentor chef also had the training chef work in his restaurant for a night, using his recipes and seasonings and experiencing an even more fast-paced environment. While she said the experience was rewarding it had its difficult moments.
“I’m a very strong minded person,” Nieves said. “So I really had to learn how to take constructive criticism and how to keep my kitchen clean and learn new recipes.”
Nieves said when she returned to Tata’s she learned to not take things so personally and accept more responsibility.
Efrain and Monica Nieves, Nieves’ parents and co-owners of Tata’s Restaurant, said they noticed a change in their daughter after the experience. Monica Nieves said things have been “absolutely amazing.”
“Absolutely, I think she has made a lot of progress,” Efrain Nieves said. "She’s doing very good.”