Cooking up a storm in the kitchen at Naïm in Brisbane is Vince Estacio. From Michelin Star restaurants in San Francisco to relocating to Brisbane - we had a wonderful chat with him about how he tries to be generous.
Can you tell me about your background for our readers? Introduce yourself!
I’m Vince Estacio, the Head Chef and the Co-Owner of Naïm Restaurant in Brisbane. The restaurant focuses on Middle-Eastern cuisine and I work alongside my co-owner, BJ Wall. I graduated from Le Cordon Blue in San Francisco and I moved to Brisbane in 2017. These past four years have been an insane change of life from the States. Having worked in Michelin-starred kitchens and now owning and operating my own restaurant has been the most amazing journey.
What is the best gift you’ve received? What do you think is the best gift you’ve given?
I was gifted a trip that allowed me to travel to the USA to visit colleges and universities during high school. This trip began my obsession with traveling and now more than ever I really appreciate that I was able to do that at a young age.
I can’t recall a specific gift that I have given, but I really make an effort to be considerate. I will always try to remember something that a loved one wished for and I will try my best to be able to get that for them.
How do you try and be a generous person?
I sincerely feel that I have this innate habit to be as generous as possible. I remember a pep talk that a chef gave me during a busy holiday season when I was a younger chef – moments and situations exist so temporarily and so ephemeral – that you might as well be as generous as you can be. Give everything you can and everything you are, albeit sustainably. This mantra has always worked out for me.
What is something that you did last year, or hope to do this year, around the gift of giving? Setting up my business was very hard and I was so fortunate to have had a support network of friends around me. I don’t have family in Australia (they live abroad) so that made it extra challenging. Now that I have a platform of my own, I want to be able to pay it forward to someone or a group of people and spread the generosity that I was given.
If someone could give you any gift in the world, what would it be?
Just because my birthday is coming up, I’m going to answer this question with regards to a material gift (laughs). I would love a Theragun Mini Massager or massage vouchers as a present. Being a chef is physically hard!
What is the best gift of advice you have achieved?
One message that’s really helped me out is to find the balance between logic and emotion behind a decision. Falling in love too much with an idea is somewhat hindering and overthinking or rushing a decision is never good either– balance is always key.
Does the act of gift-giving hold an important place in your life? How so?
Yes, of course and always. I will always find a way to give, return the favour or pay it forward.
Thanks so much for chatting with us, Vince! Head to Naim Restaurant’s website to book, or head to their Instagram here.