Your Host-Chef Richard Christy
From a very young age, Richard Christy dreamed of learning to cook and one day owning his own restaurant. This came true early in life, and at the age of 16 he began his journey following his dream. His first job landed him at Little Creek Amphibious Base in Norfolk, Va., slinging hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza and fast foods to our military. Here is where he started to hone his culinary skills that eventually carried him to the top of the culinary ladder.
This was his start in what becomes an amazing culinary career spanning 27 years before he retired in 2001 to work on yet another dream. Building a lodge home in the mountains of Virginia. Ultimately reaching goals he never dreamed possible.
Chef Christy became one of the most well-known and highly-sought-after chefs in the area. His creative talents took him straight to the top. Once on top, he had to figure out how to maintain his place on this rollercoaster in the culinary world. Staying ahead of youth, the young turks that are coming up in the industry. Vying for the top positions that are held by the old dinosaurs.
In 1994 Chef Christy became a Certified Executive Chef. The second highest level of culinary training obtainable for chefs in the United States. A distinction noted for producing and recognizing a higher level of ability and talent over formally trained chefs. In 1997 his dream of owning his own place came to fruition. Squealers Diner, a happening little place in an old drugstore, ran by the Yavner brothers from the 1950s until retirement in 1996. It was a place he stopped into each day to buy penny candy with his lunch money and fresh limeades on his way home. His culinary talents were put to work by producing home-cooked comfort foods in a diner atmosphere with affordable prices.
During his tenure he worked in some of the areas most highly acclaimed establishments. Country clubs, city clubs, hotels and resorts. He was a pioneer in the industry, setting standards and trends that for most were considered bold and risky, but innovative and on the cutting edge. Most often followed by other chefs in the area. His talents came to the attention of major food companies that eventually commissioned Christy to consult on new food products destined for the retail market.
In the winter of his career he became a Corporate Executive Chef for research and development. He designed and created food products and programs for such companies like Smithfield Foods, Wampler Longacre, Perdue, Good Life Cuisine and Thunder Bay.
During his illustrious career Chef Christy had the opportunity that most chefs dream of. The opportunity to cook for the president of the United States, President Gerald Ford. This happened early in his career, and through this a catering business was born. Black Tie Catering and Catering by the Sea became two companies that worked with political events between Virginia Beach and Washington, D.C.