My Culinary Journey
Hello, my name is Richard Hammons and I have always had a love for food. Growing up in a household that loved cooking at home, especially on the holidays, fueled my excitement for the industry.
At the age of 14, I started in the industry working for a friends family who owned two Chinese restaurants in Venice, Fl. This position showed me the ropes with front of house service and basic prep. I worked for several restaurants and managed coffee shops in high school and into my early 20's.
In 2004 I started culinary school at The Art Institute of Phoenix, then began working at The Four Seasons Hotel in Scottsdale, Az. This experience pushed me to learn as quickly as possible and helped me to become the highest awarded student upon graduation, finishing with Highest Honors, Best Culinarian, and Best Portfolio.
In 2007 I transferred to The Four Seasons Hotel in Jackson Hole, Wy. where I honed my skills in all outlets of the hotel and was fortunate enough to start studying sushi. While working for the hotel, I also worked as Sous Chef of an Asian Fusion Wine Bar called Koshu and an American Smokehouse called The Knotty Pine in Victor, Id.
I transferred to the Four Seasons Hotel Denver, Co in 2010 as the Sushi Chef of the property. This was a big undertaking as I created the menu, ordered all of the equipment and setup the program in a very corporate environment. Then I helped to open Linger Restaurant as a lead cook and furthered my sushi skill at Izakaya Den.
2010 brought a major change to my career when I moved back to Jackson Hole, Wy to be the hot food chef at Nikai Sushi. This was a strong step into restaurant management and pushed my creativity and skills as I created my own menu and was responsible for half of the restaurant.
After two years at Nikai I moved onto Cafe Genevieve as a Sous Chef. This restaurant was very popular with brunch service for over 500 people on the weekends. It greatly elevated my skill level as a line cook and manager.
2013 brought another major change in my career when I was hired at Amangani Hotel as the Executive Sous Chef. This position was a major building block for me as I was managing more people than ever before with a very high quality of food and service. Amangani is a Luxury hotel with only two properties in the United States while the rest are in Asia, Europe, and the Caribbean.
In 2014 I returned to studying sushi at Sudachi sushi in Jackson Hole while also working for Bistro Catering which is a part of a large restaurant group in town. Sudachi is a high end sushi restaurant catering to a mostly high end clientele, focused on sustainable seafood and great quality.
Fall of 2014 afforded me the opportunity to take on the role of Executive Chef at a new restaurant concept focused around Global Comfort Food. This was a massive learning experience for me as I opened the restaurant as the sole chef in charge of developing the menu and the food program from the ground up. Unfortunately, I hit a level of burnout that caused me to walk away from the profession, take some time away and figure out how to get back into it for the love of food and making people happy.
In April of 2017 I started Five Star To You as a way to take my experience in Five Star hotels and high end restaurants into your home, event center, or restaurant. I have experience with many different cuisine styles including Sushi, Southwest/ Mexican, Italian (including handmade pasta), French, and New American.
People often ask me what I specialize in and my answer is "A little bit of everything". I love to cook food, all kinds of it... From breakfast to multi coursed dinners.