My name is Nicole Gaffney – I used to be Nicole Quigley – but most of my friends just call me Coley. You should too!

I spent the last 5 years working as a personal chef at the Jersey shore, and this past year I competed on a silly reality TV show called “Food Network Star.” That experience is up there with sky diving on the list of “craziest things I’ve ever done.” I didn’t win, but I came in third place overall and I’m pretty happy with that.


I call my style of cooking “Coastal Cuisine.” I make food with bright clean flavors, simple techniques, and a focus on high quality fresh ingredients. I also love anything with butter and sugar, but hey, who doesn’t?

I was lucky enough to marry a handsome fella named Chaser who splits his time between being an architect and an Atlantic City Fireman. He’s a unique guy with a unique name, and I like it that way.


We live on the southern Jersey coast and spend as much time with our feet in the sand and sea as possible. We love eating as much as we love each other, and in those moments when we’ve had a bit too much, we say we’re “too full for school.” (Ya know… like too cool for school? Right.)

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I started this blog to share my insights, anecdotes and recipes with the world. I’m not the most skilled writer or the best photographer, but like cooking, I hope that if I pour my heart and soul into it, people just might enjoy it.

I have a big sense of humor and always write this blog with a smile, so please, always read it with one.

For inquiries about content, sponsorship, advertisements, appearances or just to say “hey!” drop me a line at toofullforschool@gmail.com.

Follow me on facebookTwitter, and Instagram!


All content, including photographs and recipes, are the property of Nicole Gaffney, unless otherwise stated.

20 thoughts on “About”

  1. We are a part of the Chicago Food Bloggers network and the Association of Food Journalists. We’d like to feature you in your journey on Food Network Star! Do we have your permission?

    I learned about your participation on the show through your father, Frank Quigley as we are formerly from the gaming and hospitality industry!

    Congrats and good luck!!!

    1. Hey Gloria! Thank you so much for your note. I would LOVE my journey to be featured, and would love to give you my permission, but everything needs to go through the PR department at Food Network. If you could, please send the request to Lauren Sklar, Food Network PR
      646-336-3745, lsklar@foodnetwork.com . I hope this works out, it would be super cool. Thanks!!!

  2. Hello Nicole
    I have been watching you on next food network star and you keep saying you are from the jersey shore. I have been going to the jersey shore since I was a kid and I was wondering what shore point you are from?
    Good luck on the show

  3. Hi Nicole! I’ve been watching and rooting you on! I feel so special being one of the fortunate people who enjoyed your delicious food while in Long Beach Island. The Dinner Belle will always be our favorite!!!

  4. Hi Nicole! I’ve been enjoying watching you on the food network. Your food always looks so delish! I’m sure you have your hands full right now, but I would love if you would consider writing a guest post on my blog sometime. If you’re interested, you can reach me at sunny@table41cookbook.com. Good luck! Ciao!

  5. Roger B

    You’re the winner.

    It’s easy to see you as one of the top Food Network stars, especially if they get the programming right. For example, visiting “coastal” or near coastal restaurants, markets, farms, bed and breakfasts etc., having fun and informative conversations with fascinating people, and cooking beautiful food!

    Hope you bring in some strong “coastal” images into your next shows!

    I could give at least ten reasons why you would be a true star but I hope the judges know that by now.

    Remember the West Coast too when you have your own live show.

    All best wishes

  6. Good! Hope you’ll be filming for your new show while you’re here!

    There’s also the fertile and gorgeous coast of Ireland. I can see you hanging out
    with the great Rachel Allen in West Cork!

  7. Hi Nicole! I thought you did a great job on FNS and I thought you would have made a very good host/star! So glad to find your blog and be following you after the competition is over. Keep on shinin, girl 🙂

  8. hey there, i “friended” (or “followed” or whatever) on FB a few weeks ago, also bc of FN star, but also because we live inland, but have a place in cape may and loved your outlook/ stories/ personality, etc! keep on keepin’ on, and hope to see you out and about soon!

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tales from a life full of food, laughter and love.

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