Sunday Routine: Mr. Nowakoski


Beatrice Larkin, People Editor

What does a typical Sunday look like for you?

A conversation with Mr. Nowakoski and People’s Editor Beatrice Larkin: they cover topics from his Sunday routine, favorite meals, favorite sports teams, and life abroad.  

For Nowakoski, a typical Sunday starts by being woken up by his two dogs early in the morning. He elaborates, “they will not let me sleep past dawn.”  He says that Sunday is a day where he catches up. He starts his morning off with coffee and the New York Times. Then, he explains, “I usually take the dogs on a long hike. I live in New Jersey, so there are places where I can actually climb a mountain.” 

In addition to catching up,  Nowakoski uses Sundays to prepare for the upcoming week.  “Because I used to be a chef, I do all of the cooking,” he explains. Additionally, he discusses the importance of obtaining the right ingredients. He does not just do your average supermarket run, “I am very particular about where I get stuff so I buy bread in one place, fish in another place, vegetables at the farmstand,” Nowakoski explains. 

He needs to perfect his ingredients before he can perfect his recipe,“I don’t go with ideas in mind about what I want to cook, I go see what’s good, and I buy that. This time of year we are switching from tomatoes and corn and zucchini and eggplant and all of those summer things… And the fall is starting to come in so I got my first good brussel sprouts yesterday.” 

He discusses the different vegetables that are in season now, and where to get them.

“From being a chef, I know a lot of local farmers. This time of year we are moving into cabbages, squash will be soon, and a lot of vegetables.” 

Shopping and pre-preparing for meals takes up a good portion of his day. He thinks ahead for what meals he can prepare in advance. “I want to have things in the fridge I can bag up. I can make a big pot of rice, knowing that I’ll make fried rice later in the week. I’ll roast a chicken that I can turn into chicken soup.”

When asked about what he envisions as a fall meal he answers: “One meal that is a big treat is I will make a French onion soup, and that’s an all day project. The way I make it, it takes hours. Or a roasted chicken with some vegetables.” He discusses his time spent in France as a chef, “I was in a little town outside Aix-en-Provence.” 

He explains that his kids are athletes, and that he likes to spend Sundays watching their sports. “My youngest son is a very active athlete, so I often have to take him to one of his games.” 

One Sunday ritual he has is a family dinner. He explains, “when the kids have homework it happens less and less, sometimes we’ll watch a game in the afternoon.”A Rangers fan, Nowakoski has had many run-ins with famous players, including PK Subban, one of the most famous hockey players today. “At the time, he was on the Montreal Candadiens and he was cheering on his teammates (at a game), and he saw my four year old son and fist-bumped him,” Nowakoski said.