This month, we are highlighting a more recently added member of Stein Assisted Living – Kitchen Production Manager, Rick Davis.
Rick joins the Wilf Campus with over 30 years of experience in the culinary industry. Beginning as a delivery driver at the age of 16, he quickly climbed to a position as a prep-cook. His love for cooking and dedication to the craft eventually led to him becoming an executive chef at the Marriot in Barbados by the young age of 18-years-old. From there, Rick went on to travel the world revamping menus and training staff for the company. Having spent time in Paris and the United Kingdom, where he expanded his culinary knowledge, Rick’s career eventually brought him back to New York City.
A well-seasoned chef with education from New York Restaurant School and the Culinary Institute of America, Rick’s time in New York was nothing short of exciting as he prepared catering menus for high-end fashion designers, worked alongside celebrity chefs like Bobby Flay and Wolfgang Puck, and even competed in a season of Food Network’s popular competition series, Chopped. Alas, the time came for Rick to escape the bustle of the big city and he decided to make a move to New Jersey, where he worked in the banquet-catering industry. “I was looking for a change of pace and didn’t want to commute as much. That eventually led me here to Stein Assisted Living – and I love it,” Rick shared.
As kitchen production manager, Rick now centers on improving workflow and communication with his staff. Most importantly, he is looking to bring new ideas to the menu and please as many residents as he can along the way. “With many of our residents, I have seen that sudden or drastic changes can sometimes be a lot to handle. So, as I work with the staff to add more variety and new flavors to the menu,” Rick says. “I keep in mind that it is important to do so in a way that allows everyone to adapt slowly.” So far, the feedback has been positive!
Outside of life at Stein Assisted Living, Rick is a martial arts teacher and Ninjutsu black belt; having trained since he was a child. He also enjoys fishing, no matter the season. His favorite meal to cook is filet mignon with a raspberry sauce and roasted balsamic mushrooms, but he loves all cuisines. When it comes to his own palette, Rick enjoys eating Chinese and Indian-style dishes.
“I’m really happy here,” Rick says about working at Stein Assisted Living, “Its been a roller coaster working all these years, but I have no regrets. Now, my focus is on my work here; helping teach and grow our staff, and most importantly – serving great food.”