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On this rare day when he’s not busy creating new seasonal dishes and working with his team to attend to the countless details that make La Madera Bistro such an exceptional and popular restaurant, chef-owner Nicandro (Nick) Quiroz loves to escape to the country—to pick blackberries or sit and listen to birdsong.
Quiroz, who grew up on a farm in Mexico, arrived here in 2000 with $100 in his pocket and hardly a word of English. He found a job in a restaurant where he met Tina Dangel, La Madera manager and his “American mom.” On his day off, he took ESL classes through the Adult Literacy Program at the Kennett Library. Quiroz says, “Kennett Square is like a family—people take care of each other,” and he’s grateful for all the help he’s received.
Quiroz realized a life-long dream when he opened La Madera in May 2016. The bistro’s New American cuisine features flavors from around the Mediterranean Basin. While diners taste the difference that fresh, local ingredients make, they also can’t help but notice the love and hard work that are Chef Nick’s not-so-secret ingredients. He cares deeply about his customers, his employees, and the food he serves. He and Dangel want people “to feel like they’re in our home, enjoying great food and a great time.”
Quiroz is happiest when he sees the joy on his customers’ faces. “When you find the thing you really love to do, in a place that you love, you’re so happy,” he says with a smile.