WHITE SULPHER SPRINGS – Richard Rosendale, executive chef at The Greenbrier, said the Mountain State icon is the perfect place to prepare for an upcoming international culinary competition.
“Experimenting is crucial for competition,” said Rosendale, also the resort’s director of food and beverage. “We have 13 kitchens on the property. There are lots of opportunities to try and test.”
He is concentrating on cooking in the kitchen that is set up like the one in Lyon, France, where he will represent Team USA at the Bocuse d’Or on Jan. 29 and 30. He went through a national selection process to represent the United States and will compete against top chefs representing 22 countries.
It’s the Olympics of cooking competitions. “I’m the only one from the U.S.,’’ said Rosendale, 37. “It’s a huge honor, obviously. You have to be used to pressure. The stress is exhumed by sheer excitement. I’ve done over 45 national and international competitions.”
His culinary talent has taken him to Germany, Switzerland, France and Italy. However, the upcoming competition is the icing on the cake.
Last January, the Bocuse d’Or USA Foundation held the finals to determine who would go to Lyon to represent the USA team in 2013.
Rosendale won with his River and Glen Hooker’s Cod dish and platter of D’Artagnan Winter Chicken. In the upcoming competition he will prepare a beef dish to be displayed on a silver platter and paraded before spectators. He will also prepare a turbot and lobster creation in 12 portions for the judges.
While his career is impressive, Rosendale is a humble, hardworking guy who says his cooking interests were sparked at a young age by grandparents who were German on his father’s side and Italian on his mother’s.
He grew up in Uniontown, Pa., near Pittsburgh, where he honed basic skills in home economics classes. He was a sophomore when his team won a cake baking and decorating contest.
From there he has soared to be among an elite group of chefs.
Rosendale concedes that one of his weaknesses is taking on too much. But, being painstakingly organized means he can accomplish a great deal. “I work far in advance to get things done. I have a wonderful team at the Greenbrier and great coaches.’”
There’s no question his schedule is demanding. He and his wife, Laura, a nurse practitioner, are the parents of Lawrence, 4, and Liam, who will turn 1 in February.
Rosendale is awake early and drops his older son off at school and delivers another to a sitter. By 7:30 a.m., he is at the gym, where he works out to stay fit physically and mentally. His workday starts at 10 a.m. and can stretch to 6 p.m. or as late as 11 p.m. He works six days a week, reserving Sunday for family day.
At home, he handles all of the cooking. “My wife does not cook at all,” he said. “It’s me 100 percent. I like cooking for her. Lawrence is young and fickle. He’s fascinated with watching me and will throw basil leaves into the pot.”
In his own kitchen, Rosendale tends toward basic, not exotic cuisine. “I like making red sauce like marinara,” he said. “I like split pea soup with ham hock. I enjoy cooking on a grill.”
He wants young people to know that dreams are attainable. “I couldn’t have imagined doing all of this,” he said. “If you want it bad enough and are willing to do the hard work, you can get there.”
This article appears as part of the AP Member Exchange. For more on Richard Rosendale, go online to Richardrosendale.com.