Nick Dugan grew up in a rural town in upstate New York, getting his culinary start by washing dishes at a local pizzeria. After falling in love with life in the kitchen, he worked his way up the ranks to an impressive career in just a few short years.
After graduating from The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, Nick spent a year traveling, training and competing in numerous culinary competitions as team captain with the American Culinary Federation, where he led his team to gold medals on the state, regional and national levels.
In 2011, he joined esteemed Chef Michael Mina in Washington, DC, at Bourbon Steak in the Four Seasons Hotel. Focused and determined, he climbed the ranks to sous chef. After 3 years in DC, Dugan jumped at an opportunity to become executive sous chef at RN74 Seattle. Over the next two years, he earned the role of chef de cuisine at the French-inspired restaurant at just 25 years old.
A move to the Midwest saw Dugan as the opening Chef de Cuisine of Chef Gavin Kaysen’s Bellecour Bistro in Minnesota. Bellecour and Dugan both received rave reviews over the next two years on a local and national level, and in 2017, Dugan was honored in Zagat’s 30 under 30 National List for his work in Minnesota.
In 2018, he returned to the MINA Group and was welcomed with open arms. As Executive Chef of the iconic Michael Mina Restaurant in the Bellagio, Las Vegas, Dugan showcased his mastery of whole fish preparations while honoring the legendary dishes of Chef Mina.
From 2020-2022, Nick worked as executive chef at MINA’s Bardot Brasserie in Aria Las Vegas, where he navigated the challenges of running a restaurant during a pandemic. Despite these obstacles, Nick thrived, leading his team to new heights in creativity and success. While at Bardot, Nick was introduced to Ben Navarro of Beemok Hospitality, who was so impressed with Nick’s cooking skills that he lobbied to bring him to Charleston to help open the forthcoming Sorelle.
In 2022, Nick, his fiancé Sierra and their young son made their way to Charleston, SC to open the first MINA concept in the Southeast, Sorelle (a collaboration between Beemok Hospitality Collection and MINA Group). At Sorelle, Nick will put his modern spin on classic Southern Italian dishes in a reimagined three-story townhouse on Broad Street.
Awards & Press
- James Beard Award