Some people are born to cook. And Richard Pelz is one of them. From learning to cook traditional French food with his mother, to working his family’s vineyard in the Monterey Peninsula, food & wine have been coursing through Richard’s blood most of his life.
Richard graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York in 1997. Wishing to make his mark on the restaurant capital of the world, Richard moved to New York City in 1998, and took a position at La Grenouille, New York’s venerable classic French restaurant. There he warmed the hearts of the Masson family, proprietors of La Grenouille and was shuttled around Europe’s gastronomic capitals on their behalf.
During this period, Richard thrived on the culinary knowledge and skills imparted to him by some of the world’s best chefs, including Alain Ducasse, who Richard worked for in Monte Carlo at the renowned Louie XV.
Following La Grenouille, Richard accepted the Sous Chef position at La Caravelle. Aspiring to have a strong well-rounded foundation in the kitchen, Richard took over the pastry department at highly acclaimed restaurant AZ in New York City.
Following this venture, Richard took off for another round in Europe, working this time at Martin Berasategui, a Michelin 3-star restaurant in San Sebastian, Spain. After Europe, Richard returned to the states where he became Executive Chef of Citrine restaurant in West Hollywood, California. Needing to be back in New York City, Richard was given the opportunity to open a busy Portuguese tapas restaurant in Times Square called Tintol. This position would be Richard’s last before taken his diverse and invaluable culinary experiences to his own place, Goblin Market, partnering with his longtime friend. Goblin Market at the first year of its operations was nominated as a new best restaurant in New York City.
Subsequently, different experiences within the culinary world on the east coast and Europe, Richard’s path lead him back to his home roots in California. In 2008 Richard moved to Napa Valley, opening celebrity chef’s Michael Chiarello Bottega restaurant and working alongside Richard Reddington at his restaurant, Redd. The opportunities in Palm Desert aimed Chef Richard Pelz to relocate to the Coachella valley in 2010. After stints at Augusta Modern, renowned restaurant Cuistot and as a private chef, Richard found his match at Wally’s Desert Turtle. His professionalism and expertise in food and wine is a great reflection of the Wally’s principles and goals.
Chef Richard Pelz resides in Palm Desert with his wife Rasa, daughter Vesta and Inga.