As Co-Founder, Richard Keys knows Food & Drink Resources (FDR) like the back of his hand. With over three decades of food and drink experience, Richard’s knowledge of the field and passion for food highlight the success of his career.
FDR: When/how did you know you wanted to pursue a culinary career?
Richard: Probably when I was around 19. I realized my idea of a “hockey career” was going nowhere, and I needed to find a real career. I had always worked off and on in the kitchen since I was a kid, and I loved the adrenaline of working in the kitchen, so I went for it.
FDR: What was your first culinary-related job?
Richard: My story is probably a familiar story for other chefs who got started in this crazy industry in their teens. At age 13, I worked as a dishwasher in a local restaurant. I didn’t want to stay in the dish pit, so I picked up every shift that I could helping on the cold and hotlines. The rest is history. I have a had a love for cooking ever since.
FDR: Any formal training or college?
Richard: I received my culinary training at the Walt Disney World Culinary Apprenticeship. This was a three-year program where we had American Culinary Federation (ACF) certified classes every day and worked at one of the Disney restaurants in the evenings. I probably worked in over 30 restaurants in those three years. It was a great experience to have exposure to so many cuisines and dining services.
FDR: What have been a few career highlights?
Richard: My most notable positions include my first Executive Chef gig for Grand Teton Lodge Company in the Grand Tetons, time as a Corporate Chef for US Airways, and then my transition out of the kitchen to VP of Sales for Cuisine Solutions. These progressions led to me finally opening my own agency, Food & Drink Resources, with Scott Randolph.
FDR: What are your responsibilities at FDR?
Richard: Managing new client acquisitions and daily business functions. We are primed for growth and managing how we grow is key to our continued success.
FDR: What do you enjoy about working with FDR?
Richard: Looking for new investment opportunities for FDR. Our latest investments in FDR Logistics and Pawā Box have been a great deal of fun.
FDR: Where do you see the business going? What is promising about FDR’s future?
Richard: We have morphed into a full-service culinary agency providing services far beyond just product development. Being able to support all facets of the development process is important to our growth.
FDR: Do you cook at home? If so, what do you like to make?
Richard: I don’t cook that much anymore. However, I do still do make time to BBQ, and I own Thanksgiving dinner in our house!
FDR: What food trends or restaurant concepts are you most excited about?
Richard: Convenience foods, meal kits, and home meal delivery. Both trends give us more time around the dinner table with family.
Thanks for stopping by and reading the Food & Drink Resources blog. Here we talk about food trends, culinary innovation, and the work of our team.