Barbara Rich

Lead Chef, Culinary Arts

"Teaching health-supportive cooking makes us more thoughtful about the choices we make, not always leaning on the usual suspects in the kitchen."


Barbara Rich studied at the California Culinary Academy before three years of kitchen experience as assistant sous chef at Zuni Café in San Francisco. She moved to New York in 1997 and worked all stations as a roundperson at The Lobster Club, followed by prep, staff training and ordering experience as a chef at Savoy Restaurant.

In 2000, Chef Barbara was named executive chef at Danal Restaurant, where she created recipes, developed menus and oversaw the kitchen staff. In 2003, she gained catering experience with Creative Edge Parties, where she was a chef for six years before consulting and teaching.

Chef Barbara began teaching culinary arts as an adjunct at Hudson County College in Jersey City, then spent four years as a chef instructor at the Art Institute of New York. In January 2005, she moved to the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts, where she took on many roles, managing internships and alumni relations, in addition to instructing.

Chef Barbara comes to ICE with more than a decade of experience teaching culinary skills with a health-supportive framework, including vegetarian and vegan cooking. She has a wealth of expertise on medicinal uses for food and health-based diets and intimate familiarity with Natural Gourmet’s unique curriculum.

“Teaching culinary is so important to me, and not just because I want people to have skills,” says Chef Barbara. “I want to have the students leave the program feeling empowered and confident about their future, whatever that brings."

Outside of the kitchen, Chef Barbara is an avid endurance athlete, competing in half ironmans and ultra-running.


  • AOS Degree, California Culinary Academy, 1993-1994
  • BA History, Washington University in St. Louis, 1986-1990

Work History

  • Consultant, Pasita Wine Bar, 2006
  • Consultant, S’Mac, 2005
  • Chef and Kitchen Assistant, Creative Edge Parties catering, 2003-2009
  • Executive Chef, Danal, 2000-2003
  • Chef, Savoy Restaurant, 1998-2000
  • Roundsperson, The Lobster Club, 1997-1998
  • Assistant Sous Chef, Zuni Café, 1994-1997

Awards and Honors

  • Honored Faculty, Art Institute of New York, 2008
  • Scholarship recipient, Women Chefs and Restaurateurs, 2008


  • NY DOH Food Handlers Certification
  • ACCET Completion and Placement Seminar, 2016

Barbara Rich on the Blog