Tina King and Nicholas Hack, owners and chefs at Il Casita, a gorgeous little Mediterranean restaurant situated on St Lawrence’s Green in Crediton, Devon, are celebrating the restaurant’s third birthday this month.
Nicholas Hack and Tina King were both raised in Devon, but their passion for food and travel has taken them on culinary journeys far and wide, cooking for many different people from all walks of life. Nicholas, who heads up the kitchen at Il Casita, started in the army, which gave him the discipline and drive to become master of the kitchen. His many years in London working with talented and inspirational chefs, and working as executive head chef at Kew Gardens, have given him knowledge and experience that are second to none. Tina began her journey as a young girl working in hotels then trained as a chef at college and has since cooked her way round most of Europe.Tina’s experience working for Albert Roux, cheffing for the rich and famous in New York and having her private catering business in London has gained her knowledge of every aspect of the cooking world.
When these two passionate chefs met, they combined their knowledge and experience to realise their dream of opening a restaurant. Three years on, Il Casita is going from strength to strength. The dishes abound with Mediterranean flavours, influenced by Nick and Tina’s love of travel and bringing them many fond memories of their younger days. It’s important to them to keep their food fresh and current, and their monthly changing menus ensure that the ingredients are seasonal and sustainable. Nick is always looking to evolve to the next level, looking for and creating new dishes, and his head is always buzzing with new ideas.
Although they are often busy in the kitchen, Nick and Tina always find time for their customers during the evening, and Nick loves to talk about food. In fact, he doesn’t just cook and eat food – he lives and breathes food!
You can read more about restaurants in Devon in our new Devon Food & Drink Guide: