Make a Memory is a movement, a challenge to turn
I wish I had into I’m glad I did in 2015.

Reach out and claim an adventure this year. Make a Memory before it’s too late.

I count Chef Nico Romo among my dearest friends. When he first came to Fish Restaurant, he agreed to make a silly video with me, a loud Southern stranger who screamed in his French kitchen. It was our first encounter.

Maybe we understood each other. Even then.

When I asked him to contribute to Make a Memory, I never realized we had similar daddy distance. I’m fortunate to know his father Manuel, and to call him my friend, too.

nico romo andra watkins

Chef Nico’s Make a Memory.
He gave me permission to de-Frenchify it.

As a Chef, this is probably the hardest question anyone ever asked me. When Andra first sent it to me, I was like, “Ok. No problem. I will get an answer to her ASAP.”

But when I took time to think about it, it was really hard to answer.

My personal life and my work life are so busy. I always hate myself for NOT taking time to Make a Memory. It’s probably one of my biggest struggles.

My biggest memory is of doing something for my Family.

My dad and I always had a weird relationship. When I was growing up in France, we didn’t know each other. I struggled to know him.

After I went through my teenage years and moved to America, my Grandfather passed away.  My brother and my dad’s side of the family had a really crappy relationship at the time.  I was in Atlanta starting a new chef job. Too busy as usual.

My grandfather’s death marked the first time
I decided family was more important than work.

I called a friend and got on the first plane to France. I ended up in three airports before going to Nice in the south of France. From there, I had to drive four hours to my dad’s house. I never told him I was coming. When I arrived and he opened the door…..

It was the moment I realized how much family matters.

What love truly means. What I meant to him and what he meant to me. My dad broke down, and I did, too.

I’ll never forget it.


nico-bioNico Romo has directed Patrick Properties Hospitality Group’s celebrated culinary programs across four historic venues since 2007, crafting vibrant interpretations of classic French cuisine with delicate Asian touches and locally harvested ingredients.

Chef Romo was most recently named a Monterey Bay Aquarium 2014 Sustainable Seafood Ambassador. He also attended the James Beard Foundation Chefs Boot Camp for Policy & Change.

Among other distinctions, he hosted the 2013 JBF Award semifinalist announcements in Charleston, as well as more than 100 French Master Chefs and the French Ambassador to the U.S. during the Maîtres Cuisiniers de France – l’Académie Culinaire de France North American Conference.

Born in Lyon, France, Chef Romo graduated from the Helene Boucher Culinary Art School in Vénissieux at age 19. He refined his skill under the tutelage of French Master Chef Patrick Henriroux at Hotel and Restaurant “La Pyramide” in Vienne, France, before rising to prominence among the United States’ finest hotels. Chef Romo’s career has spanned roles at Chez Philippe in the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, TN, and the Ritz Carlton, Atlanta, GA. Chef Romo opened the third location of B.E.D. restaurant at The Glenn, Atlanta’s first boutique hotel. – Photo and bio from Fish Restaurant website


Read Not Without My Father. Grab a loved one. Make a Memory that will live forever. The Huffington Post calls Not Without My Father “one literary ride you don’t want to miss!”

Click to read a sample of Not Without My Father

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