Principal, SRZ Consulting/VRZ Hospitality Group, Chicago, IL
Culinary Arts, 1988
Chef Randy began his foray into food when he purchased a small catering company based in his hometown of New York City in the late 1980’s. He moved the business to Miami before working with acclaimed chef Norman Van Aken for more than seven years as his chef de cuisine and partner, consulting together on a variety of projects. Randy moved to Chicago in 1998 to begin a partnership with Lettuce Entertain You Restaurants (LEYE) with the opening of Nacional 27. At LEYE he also became a partner at Brasserie Jo and worked on numerous projects with the consulting division. After 10 years, Randy ventured out on his own and created Province, Chicago’s first Gold-Level LEED certified full-service restaurant. He opened a second location in a Westin Hotel in Phoenix, Arizona in 2011. Throughout his time at both LEYE and Province, Randy has been hired by restaurant groups, food councils and food manufacturing companies such as Bloomin’ Brands, the California Avocado Commission and Kraft. He has been involved in product ideation, menu and recipe creation, packaging development and more.
Randy is member of the Institute of Culinary Education Alumni Hall of Achievement, a recipient of Nations Restaurant News’ Best Independent Operator Menu In America award in 2004, and volunteers his time with the Chicago Chapter of the Healthy Schools Campaign.
His advice to current students is “It takes focus, dedication, and patience to succeed in the culinary world. There is no shortcut to paying your dues and getting the experience you need to succeed.” Click here to read an interview with Randy.