At a young age, I became fascinated with food and flavors. I grew up in New Jersey with a great cook for a mom..there was always something wonderful going on in the Kukle kitchen. I loved helping my mother make jams for friends or cupcakes for parties, and I took to cooking like a duck to water.
We had a camp in the Catskill mountains in New York, so when I was not helping in the kitchen I was learning how to hunt, how to fish, and how to forage for wild edibles like blueberries and mushrooms.
In high school I got a job cooking for the NYPD..soon I knew I wanted to devote my life to cooking.
One of my happiest days was when I was admitted to the Culinary Institute of America, the most prestigious chef training school in the country.
My career soon took me around the world and eventually to major restaurants in New York. The hectic and stressful pace eventually inspired me to slow down and move to Aspen to indulge my love of skiing. Good fortune had me meeting Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith. We became good friends and I their personal chef.
From there my world unfolded. I became personal chef for the Kochs, the Soros's, the Perlmans, the Taharis...some of America's most affluent and influential families. I cook for many of them to this day.
My current passions, aside from being in the kitchen, are the love of my life..my wife of 17 years...and whenever I can I am hunting, diving, mountain climbing, skiing, river rafting, hiking, sailing and being with my many dear friends.
And my newest passion: helping you to become a better chef!
Happy Cooking...Chef Rich
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Preparing salad in Darasalam, Tanzania
...and how can I contact him?