Leadership, Service, and Peace of Mind

By Yvonne Brown

Have you ever met someone and wondered where they find time to sleep? I asked myself this while sharing time with Dominic Parks Jr., founder and owner of ChefNIC & Co. He made a lasting impression as I learned more about his story, a tale of motivation, resilience, and ambition amid a backdrop of faith and trust. 
 
Now an executive chef and business owner, he initially chose to study architecture at the University of Arkansas but eventually realized his true calling was in culinary arts and switched his field of study to hospitality and restaurant management. During his time, he created his catering company. He set about making a local name for himself, organizing events, and partnering with big corporate names like Walmart, Sam’s Club, and Tyson®.
 
Just as he was gaining momentum in his business and studies, Dominic was faced with challenges in the form of identity theft, which led to bankruptcy, and soon after that, he was diagnosed with a heart condition. Despite these setbacks, and through sheer perseverance, he was laser-focused on growing his company. 
 
In 2014, he moved to North Texas and continued his studies in culinary science at the Art Institute of Dallas. Working around his college schedule in various restaurants allowed him to increase his knowledge and gain valuable experience in the industry. After he graduated, he continued to work in multiple restaurants and companies in the North Texas area, including Ross Tower, Park Tavern, the Crescent Hotel, Sodexo Magic, City Works, and Perry’s Steakhouse, to name a few. 
 
His time and dedication to continually building his resume and pouring into his company’s mission is made evident even in his company’s name as “NIC” in ChefNIC & Co. is derived from the last three letters of Chef Nic’s name, representing the concepts of Nutrition, Inspiration, and Creativity. 
 
During his journey, he worked many different shifts and sometimes around the clock. Entering the next chapter of life with his wife Jaime and the arrival of their first child, Chef Nic realized it was time to strive for a better home, work, and life balance. Toyota had moved to Texas from California, and he was excited to be appointed executive chef at their headquarters in Plano, home to 7,000 employees. 
 
In 2020, the arrival of COVID-19 meant he soon had to pivot creatively, finding a different approach to handling food. Unfortunately, like many individuals, his job was eventually furloughed. From there, he decided to focus more on ChefNIC & Co. and figure out ways to provide more home meal solutions, both in cooked and cold pack form, so that clients could cook the food independently at home. His creativity and style proved a hit and ChefNIC & Co. became his full-time business. He set about connecting with various companies, organizations, and people in the Frisco community to raise its profile. “The Chamber of Commerce was key in helping me elevate my business and introducing me to so many avenues and connections to serve people,” he admits.
 
Chef Nic proudly cites many well-known Frisco names as his clients, like North Texas PGA, UNT of Frisco, Visit Frisco, the Economic Development Corporation (EDC), Frisco Library, Refresh Frisco, and Frisco ISD. 
 
Of their partnership with Chef Nic, Executive Director, Frisco Marketing Strategy, UNT at Frisco, Neil Foote, shares, “Chef Nic has been a key partner with us here at UNT at Frisco. We were in this building for about a month because he began working with us, providing us with a breakfast buffet, and now, whenever we can, we try to include it in our event planning. He’s responsive and creative, and his team always goes the extra mile to provide a high-quality experience. He’s truly a treasure for all of us here in Frisco and the DFW area.”
  
Lisa Bethea, Director of Destination Services at Visit Frisco, shares Mr. Foote’s sentiments about working with Chef Nic. “We have worked with Chef Nic and his team for some of our internal events and, most recently, on the Dallas Startup Week ‘From the Ground Up’ Kickoff Reception. Chef Nic is present at every event, making sure your expectations are being met. I truly appreciate this personal touch and his attention to detail. It gives me confidence when referring him to partners and clients. I know he will take great care of them and showcase the very best that Frisco has to offer.”

Chef Nic also particularly enjoys servicing the men and women of the police and fire department and feels blessed to raise a family in such a safe city. He, therefore, regularly provides meals and catering for both groups, some pre-organized and some just as random surprises to express his gratitude.  
 
He proudly describes the company as not just one person, but a team of hospitality professionals who have a passion for creating tasteful memories. “My intention throughout this journey was always to be a leader. To train, encourage, and mentor people I employ with my knowledge, empowering them to grow also,” he explains.
As a team, he and his employees are focused on producing a remarkable dining experience by surpassing clients’ expectations with tantalizing cuisine, extraordinary service, and artistic presentation. 
 
ChefNIC & Co.’s products and offerings are flexible and versatile, from catering various-sized events to offering a private chef experience or providing home meal solutions and event management. He wants it known that no number is too large or small, and the same exceptional quality will be provided; “I don’t just sell food and service; my biggest product is peace of mind,” he says. 
 
In 2023 he invested in a storefront where he is now neighbors with his good friend Earnest B of Earnest B’s BBQ. The storefront space now serves as ChefNIC & Co.’s central catering kitchen and an event venue to cater for up to 60 people. Looking to the future, he would eventually like to turn the space into a full-service restaurant and has a name ready to place over the front door. 
 
Chef Nic also believes in collaboration and working with other chefs and food/catering companies across the area to combine efforts and even facilitate a referral program. “The community spirit here is so strong and has helped me build a great business,” he shares, smiling. “Frisco has taken care of me, so I will continue to take care of them.” 
 
In honor of Valentine’s Day, ChefNIC & Co. and his team are hosting an upcoming Valentine’s dinner celebration. It takes place over the course of 3 days from February 13-15. Guests are invited to enjoy a red-carpet event, complimentary valet, cocktail hour, live music, and a 5-course meal. To find out more, visit chefnic.com.

Yvonne Brown is a Frisco-based freelance writer who enjoys lattes, authentic Italian food, preferably on a patio, and exploring all aspects of North Texas life with her family and friends.

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