The Exchange Richard Blankenship
Richard Blankenship was following in his parents footsteps when pursuing a career in the restaurant industry. He lost his father at the early age of 12 which led to afternoons spent watching “Great Chefs of the World” on PBS after school. At times he would attempt to recreate the fancy canapés and dishes he saw for his mother as she arrived home from work. At 15 he started bussing tables and washing dishes at corporate restaurants in Dallas. What started as good “pocket money” during high school became an obsession in his late teens and early 20s. In 2004 he left for CIA Hyde Park, NY which ultimately solidified his commitment to the culinary arts. Between school and frequent trips to New York City, he received a well-rounded education in international cuisine and a variety of techniques. He finished school and joined the opening team of Charlie Palmer restaurant in the Joule Hotel, downtown Dallas. Starting on Entremet station, he quickly rose to the rank of sous chef after mastering charcuterie, protein cookery, handmade pasta, and all other available stations in the kitchen. He participated in a national competition at the Aspen Food & Wine Fest in 2010 and won the regional Cochon 555 tour in the same year. After working around various locations in Dallas for a year, he returned to the Joule Hotel to open CBD Provisions where he started as the Chef de Cuisine. Under Chef Michael Sindoni, the team earned 4 stars from Leslie Brenner of the Dallas Morning News. The following year, Richard took over as Executive Chef and earned a second 4 star review from Brenner. Chef Blankenship returned to work with Sindoni in 2018 at Sassetta in Dallas as Executive Chef and eventually F&B Director. At Sassetta, he had the opportunity to scratch the surface ofItalian cuisine, roots of which heavily influence his dishes to this day. Blankenship eventually rotated to the Commissary Downtown Dallas where he helped manage a wholesale butcher and baking operation. The meticulous planning and execution needed for breads taught him how simple preparations demand huge depths of creativity and influenced his managerial style. It was there he fell in love with “simple food”. He is currently the Director of Culinary at Hospitality Allianceat the AT&T Discovery District Campus in Downtown Dallas.
“Simple food always inspires me. From sourcing a special and meaningful ingredient to careful and thoughtful preparation and execution, when food is stripped down to the basics the real beauty of the ingredient (and the cook) shines. I’m drawn to those dishes where tradition meets creativity and care.”