Hometown: New Bern, North Carolina
Education: Culinary Institute of America, US ARMY
Carolina Love: Basketball, Eastern Carolina Whole Hog BBQ with Coleslaw Hushpuppies, Fried Shrimp Burger and Sweet Ice Tea
Early Years: It was a home economics course in high school that turned Chef Ricky on to the world of food and cooking; his upbringing in Germany as a “military brat” exposed him to global cuisine. An aspiring illustrator, he turned creative energies to the culinary arts while exploring the world as a cook in the U.S. Army for seven years.
First Job: Piggly Wiggly Grocery Store
First Culinary Job: Westchester Country Club, Rye, New York
Washington, D.C. Experience: Galileo with Roberto Donna, Vidalia with Jeffrey Buben, Equinox with Todd and Ellen Gray, Lespinasse with Gray Kunz and Catalan with Yannick Cam. He also held executive chef positions at Le Tarbouche, a contemporary Middle Eastern eatery in Washington, D.C., and Le Relais, a modern French bistro in Great Falls, Virginia. He returned to Washington in 2006 as the Executive Chef of Agraria Restaurant, a farm-to-table concept owned by the North Dakota Farmers Union.
Chicago Experience: Executive chef/instructor at the Parrot Cage Restaurant, which is affiliated with the Washburn Culinary Institute; Executive Chef of South Water Kitchen. Recipient of the Chicago Tribune’s Good Eating Award in 2005. In addition, he was a Chef-advisor to Green Youth Farm, an affiliate of the Chicago Botanical Garden, and Common Threads, an organization founded by Art Smith to teach children cultural diversity through food and cooking. Staged at Frontera Grill, Charlie Trotter’s and Tru.
Globetrotter: Chef Ricky traveled to France to work at two-star Michelin-rated Apicius in Paris with Jean-Pierre Vigato, Le Cerf in Alsace with Michel Husser, and Le Violin d’Ingres in Paris with Christian Constant. He also staged at Daniel in New York City, Cuisine of India in Toronto with Shishir Sharma and he has cooked and eaten in the beautiful city of Singapore.
Culinary Influence: Chef Ricky attributes his enthusiasm for food and cooking to his family upbringing and life experiences, but he also credits Fernand Point, the greatest influence on modern French cuisine; Alain Chapel, one of the founders of nouvelle cuisine. Any and all chefs or cooks who religiously believes in seasonality, and cooks with a level of craftsmanship and reverence for food.
Cooking Philosophy/Style: A contemporary maverick interpretation of classical, regional and global cooking. Foraging familiar flavors that achieve unexpected results. Honestly made, high-quality food that is traditionally cooked and prepared with creative intelligence.
Favorite Meal: Hasn’t eaten it yet. There have been many that are in the running.
Words That Best Describe Him: Chefpreneur. Leader. Teacher. Genuine. Passionate. Foodie. Artist. Original. Innovative. Forward-thinker. Contemporary. Authentic.
Iron Chef Warrior: In 2007, Chef Moore appeared on the Food Network show Iron Chef America, where he challenged Iron Chef Michael Symon in the “Thanksgiving Battle.”
Favorite Ingredients: Salt, lemon, chiles, herbs and sugar
Can’t Live Without: Love…
Local Food Shopping: All local farmers markets
Cooking Music: Chicago and Global House Music, Old School Hip Hop, Classic R&B, Classic Rock, Country
Cooking Influences: Italian, South East Asian, Southern American, Indian, Spanish, Middle Eastern, Moroccan, Mediterranean( Greek), Latin American (Peruvian) and Country French
Non-Culinary Influences: Sidney Poitier; James Baldwin; Ernie Barnes; Norman Rockwell; Ralph Waldo Emerson; Ayn Rand; Vince Lombardi; and Barack Obama.
Life Outside of Cooking: I enjoy spending time with family and friends which ends up being centered around cooking and eating.
Life Goal: To live my life as an example to others.
My Tribe: A devoted family man to wife Norma of 19 years. Daughter Hunter Johanna and son Greyson Beckham.
Surprising Fact: If I was not a chef, I would be a bass player.