He put Geppetto’s restaurant in Chicago on the culinary map soon after its opening – earning a rating from tough Chicago Sun-Times food critic Pat Bruno as the top mid-western Italian restaurant. Randy Rodriguez’s cooking today embraces the best of American and international cuisine, which is now savored by grateful residents at The Tradition-Prestonwood where he has recently joined as Executive Chef.
“Cooking is my passion – I love doing it,” he says simply, adding that after a day of cooking on the job, he goes home and cooks for his wife.
Such passion was born when he was just a boy watching his father work as corporate chef for Motorola Food Services in Schaumburg, Illinois. “He produced fine dining plates for banquets, and he was an artist,” said Randy, who started at 15 as a grill cook for Motorola.
" Cooking is my passion – I love doing it!"
After eventually obtaining an Associate of Culinary Arts degree in one of the food capitals of the world – Chicago – he has won multiple cooking competitions. His clients have ranged from notables such as the Dallas Cowboys when he was Executive Chef at Plano’s Stonebridge Country Club to, most recently, older adults at a seniors community that he helped open in Illinois. “Older adults can be the hardest to win over – but I did,” said Randy.
His statement cuts to the heart of what fulfills him most: “The reaction of the people.” There is no question about the reaction from residents at The Tradition, who have been abuzz about “the fabulous new chef” ever since his arrival. One gentleman referencing Randy’s presentations said, “I think the food is delicious before I’ve ever taken a bite!”
" Older adults can be the hardest to win over – but I did"
The presentations are, indeed, reminiscent of the best offerings from The Food Channel. Plates are artfully “built,” topped with a final flourish: a sprig of fresh rosemary, basil leaves, or a “nest” of shoestring potatoes. High flavor follows, encouraged often by one of his trademark reduction sauces.
Since arriving, he has served mouth-watering entrees such as beef tenderloin stuffed with blue cheese, chicken parmesan with mushroom risotto, and grilled shrimp scampi over garlic noodles with a polenta cake.
Bobby Flay – watch out.
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