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New Chef takes over at Mama Maria's

Nick Meurett is the new executive chef at the Mama Maria’s Italian Restaurant. (Hudson Star-Observer photo by Margaret A. Ontl)

Longevity and experience have combined to give Nick Meurett the chance to be the executive chef at Mama Maria’s Restaurant in North Hudson. The business opened in 1989 and Meurett started his first stint in 1995 and has basically been there ever since.

A Wausau native who graduated from UW-River Falls with a degree in art, Meurett stayed in the area. He went on to graduate from a culinary arts program at St. Paul College.

At Mama Maria’s he has been the sous chef under former executive chef Shane Pruitt who recently bought the Shady Grove restaurant in Beldenville. Pruitt left the “kitchen” in good hands.

Meurett brings the old favorites on the menu to life and is excited about added some new creations.

“Making food is like any other art project,” said Meurett. “We deal with texture, the five palate flavors -- sweet, salty, bitter, sour and umami -- and the color of the food. We believe that the customer’s first impression is with their eyes.” Meurett stresses this with his junior (apprentice) chefs.

One of the new projects he is excited about is the off menu -- five course wine pairing dinners.

“You can get really adventurous with entrees in this format,” said Meurett who is excited for Pruitt. “I want to see him succeed. We are like family here.”