We met Rich Rosendale and his team by chance, him and his culinary team were down in Miami for work and happened to walk into The Wagyu Bar. Since then, he's become a regular Meat N' Bone customer, we have partnered for some events and we have learned A LOT from him.
He runs an amazing series of culinary classes, we actually flew up to Virginia to attend his BBQ workshops. He is always busy, but we got a chance to sit down with him...
For those that do not know who Rich Rosendale is, lets just say that he is one of the best chefs in the history of USA. Yeah, that is a big accolade but Rich is not only made it as a very young chef into the ACF Culinary Team USA, but he was one of five chefs who represented the U.S. in the 2004 World Culinary Olympics in Erfurt, Germany. The team ranked number one in the world for the hot kitchen, beating 32 other nations. Since then his career has taken off, he boasts over 48 medals...
Rich, who are you? What is your story? What do you do today?
It is hard to put everything in a couple of sentences, but I consider myself a chef entrepreneur. Tirelessly passionate, constantly pushing our excellence standards while continuing to evolve our business. I’m proud to be one of 74 Certified Master Chefs in the U.S. and honored to have trained with many talented and notable chefs, including those with Michelin stars, around the country.
People always say that I am a whirlwind of culinary energy, not one to rest on my laurels. Alongside our entire team and with the support of my family, we have seen many milestones and achievements together. This portfolio includes restaurant reopening’s, launching produce farms, designing and opening new restaurants (and even a casino), opening our own culinary collective and lab, launching online courses and training, podcast hosting, and providing catering and event services. Not your average chef’s repertoire.
What was your first experience in the kitchen? When did you know this is what you wanted to do?
I was raised by Italian and German grandmothers that instilled a passion for cooking in me from a very young age. As a result, I first started working in the kitchen at different restaurants in high school.
How does Rich go from his Grandmother’s kitchen to jump into extensive catering and research?
Essentially, it is all cooking. The Greenbrier is a significant highlight in my career that supported the transition into bigger kitchens. In 2009, I oversaw the reopening of The Greenbrier historical resort, where I was the Executive Chef and Director of Food and Beverage. While there, we launched the Greenbrier Farm, a 44-acre produce farm that continues to supply 75 percent of the products and a solid farm-to-table ethos for the 750-room hotel. Leaving a legacy, we also opened five restaurants and a 100,000-square-foot casino for the resort.
Now you are focused on the RC Culinary Lab. What is it?
We recently launched the RC Culinary Lab, a world-class culinary training center where aspiring chefs and industry professionals can learn and build their skills through innovative masterclasses. Partnering with local farmers, artisans, and producers, the lab will create locally produced and curated products for our restaurant Roots 657 in Leesburg, Virginia. We also use it for whole consulting and world-class culinary trade.
You also opened Roots 657? Can you tell us a bit about your business?
Roots 657 was created to serve the local Leesburg, VA community and offers traditional American fare, including burgers, local ice cream, and smoked meats. We chose the name Roots as it can mean different things to different people. For example, it may mean the origin of a concept. It can be defined as recycling the money and energy back into the local community, or roots, by supporting other small business owners and local schools.
What would you tell any aspiring chef?
Continuously pursue your aspirations no matter how big they might be or how unattainable it is to get started today. Go after what you want today because you may spend a lot of money and other resources you can get back, but you can never get back your time.
Any shout outs? Who else deserves credit for your story?
Everyone that I work with side-by-side. What makes up Rosendale Collective and its success can be attributed to those that make our vision of excellence come to life each day. We have a passionate and hardworking team of chefs, instructors, media gurus, administrators, event and F&B operations managers, photographers, videographers, servers, cooks, and extended culinary community partners. They work tirelessly to ensure RC is recognized as a leading culinary lifestyle brand.