CHEFEAST

Personal Chef Services

Chef Richard Halka

 

Richard a native Long Islander got his start making garlic bread at Casa Felicia’s Northport restaurant.  Richard attended SUNY Binghamton as a political science major; cooking at restaurants all the while, after graduation he worked a Wall Street job for a short time and realized he needed to be cooking.  That was where hobby and passion turned career.  Richard then traveled and worked in various restaurants in Colorado, Vermont, & New York.  At the age of 26 he landed a line cook job at the Preferred Hotel “The Garden City Hotel”.  This position was an education for Richard.   During the five years of his employment, there were many mentors that he was lucky enough to work with.  The prestigious Hotel drew big New York City Chefs to the Hotels two classic dinning rooms.  Executive Chef Ali Barker, who earned his stripes at the Union Square Cafe, 150 Wooster and TriBeCa Grill in New York City.  Barker insisted he worked his way up a classical French kitchen, teaching him all the stations.  Then Executive Chef Stephen Meade, alumnus of Le Cote Basque, an amazing teacher and leader.  It was after Executive Sous Chef Jeff Lebeau, formerly of the Greenbrier Hotel, WV, made his departure, that he was awarded the sous chef promotion to the “Market Sea Grill."   Not long after that, Executive Chef Richard Allen arrived.     Mr. Allen, who is from Yorkshire, England, was a classically trained European chef.  After graduating from the Hull University Restaurant and Hotel School, he apprenticed at London's famed Savoy Hotel.  He then worked for four and a half years for the Roux brothers, who owned Le Gavroche in London, the only Michelin three-star restaurant in the United Kingdom at the time. When the Rouxes acquired part ownership in the Waterside Inn in Santa Barbara, Mr. Allen was sent to California.  Allen’s cooking was cutting edge and nothing like Richard had seen before.   The hotel was a wonderful opportunity to learn a world of cooking in such a short time; it was indeed an education that money can't buy.

 

 

Richard then moved to The East End of Long Island and Settled in East Hampton to work for Partners and restaurateurs, Drew Nieporent & Gerry Della Femina’s new restaurant, The East Hampton Point Restaurant, Working under Chef Gerard Hayden.  Hayden was a huge source of information and training.  Hayden was the pastry and sous chef to Charlie Palmer at “Aureole” in New York City, He also worked in The Park Avenue café with David Burke, and The Tri Becca Grill with Don Pitabona.  Working with Hayden and staff was where Richard really honed his creative skills and emerged as a leader.  The expertise surrounding him was a true inspiration.  After Gerry Moved on to open Maquary Grill in NY, Richard was offered the Executive Chef Position.  

 

 

November 1st of 2004 Richard and Wife Purchased the State Street Grille, a Boutique BYOB, in Southern Chester County.  After almost five years the couple made a decision to sell the restaurant.  As partners, the couple’s time was both heavily vested in their restaurant, and with a recent addition to the family, they felt that their children needed to take precedence over the restaurant.   

                           

                                                                                       Member of the Culinary Business Acadamy

       Serve Safe Certified