Growing up in Mexico City, Richard Sandoval would join his grandmother in the kitchen and gather around her large table with family to enjoy lively Mexican feasts prepared from scratch. From his grandmother, he learned to respect fresh, authentic, ingredients and to create the vibrant flavors that turned family dinners into celebrated events. Meanwhile, his restaurateur father – owner of Madeiras in Acapulco and Villa Fiore in Mexico City – imparted lessons in service and restaurant management.
These early influences inspired Sandoval to enroll at the Culinary Institute of America. Upon graduation, he gained the attention of New Yorkers with his contemporary French restaurants, Savann and Savann Est. Soon, though, he returned to his first love – the food of his childhood and in 1997 opened Maya, his flagship modern Mexican restaurant in New York.
During the past 15 years Sandoval’s career as a chef and restaurateur has evolved to include serving as a culinary consultant, television personality and chef/owner of Richard Sandoval Restaurants (RSR), a leading international restaurant group with more than 40 concepts around the world.
He has been awarded Mexico’s National Toque d’Oro 2003, Bon Appétit Restaurateur of the Year 2006 and Cordon d’Or Restaurateur of the Year 2012. Most recently, Market Watch named him On Premise Player of the Year 2013.