Chef Rich Vana of The Heritage Table Frisco

This episode is another of our longer episodes as I found it hard to wrap up the conversation with Rich. In short, the dude is killing it. He took a different path to the kitchen, which is proof that you do not have to go to culinary school to be a chef. It is the passion in your blood, your soul that craves making people happy with your creations, and the dedication to make it happen. Regardless of your path, the work is hard and plentiful, requiring sacrifice that not everyone around you will understand.

Imposter Syndrome

I understand how this comes about. As a chef, we are cooks at heart and most of us don’t seek out the spotlight. Success has a way of questioning yourself and if you are worthy of it…. But I didn’t take the same path as that guy, I don’t know how to…, what if they find out that… I’ve gone through it all as well. It made me buckle down and read more books, experiment with different things in the kitchen, and challenge both myself and my team. It never really went away though as the more I learned the more I realized I still didn’t know. With time though the anxiety of it mellowed, it never went away, and my curiosity became my focus. 

Menu Development

I enjoyed the conversation with Rich as it organically went into menu development which is a topic that is more philosophy than science or art. He has a solid grasp of the topic and I can say from experience that not many people do. It is a study of people and how they interact with your restaurant and how any change snowballs through the rest of the experience. 

Books We discussed

The Perfect Meal: The Multisensory Science of Food and Dining

The Noma Guide to Fermentation

On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen 

Find Rich Here

Make sure to take a look at his website and social profiles, share and support your fellow chefs! 

The Heritage Table You will find some great shots of the historic house that is The Heritage Table. 




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