Graeme Ritchie has always been deeply passionate about cooking. Inspired by his grandfather, his culinary career began at a very young age. Maintaining his dedication to the craft, Ritchie has contributed to the success of several fine dining restaurants.
Encouraging Ritchie's interest in cooking, his grandfather secured him a job at the mere age of 14 to begin staging a few hours a week at Brooklea Country Club in Rochester, New York. Due to his natural skill and perceptive learning capabilities, within six months Ritchie was hired to work part-time at the country club. While at Brooklea, Ritchie continued to learn about the culinary world and eventually took the position of Tournant, rotating through all kitchen stations and executing banquet events of up to 200 people.
Enthused by the kitchen's atmosphere, Ritchie decided to expand his commitment to cooking and in 2004, he entered the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. While working toward an Associate in Occupational Studies in Culinary Arts, Ritchie performed his five-month externship at Washington, DC's Charlie Palmer Steak.
Upon his graduation from CIA, Ritchie moved to New York City, where his passion was reaffirmed working as Chef Tournant at David Burke & Donatella. When asked what inspired him, Ritchie answered, "I started cooking at 14 but I don't think it was until I moved to New York City that I fell head-over-heels in love with cooking and that's completely due to my chef at David Burke & Donatella -- Chef Eric Hara."
In pursuit of a new challenge, Ritchie returned to his old stomping grounds at Charlie Palmer Steak, D.C. to serve as Sous Chef. During this time, Ritchie was introduced to Executive Chef Bryan Voltaggio. Later, when Voltaggio decided to open his own venture, Ritchie embraced the opportunity to continue working with him.