For eleven years, Rick Tramonto was executive chef and founding partner at Chicago’s world-renowned four-star fine-dining restaurant Tru, in partnership with Rich Melman, of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises. Tramonto was also culinary director of Tramonto’s Steak & Seafood, and RT Sushi Bar, in the Westin Hotel in Wheeling, IL.
In 2010, Tramonto announced his partnership with Louisiana native Chef John Folse and the formation of a new restaurant company, Home on the Range. Tramonto and Folse opened Restaurant R’evolution, in New Orleans’ renowned French Quarter in the Royal Sonesta Hotel, in 2012.
Tramonto is an accomplished author with eight titles to his credit: His memoir, Scars of a Chef, was published in March 2011. His cookbooks include: Steak with Friends: At Home with Rick Tramonto; Osteria; Fantastico!; Tru; Amuse-Bouche; Butter Sugar Flour Eggs (nominated for the 2000 James Beard Award for the Best Cookbook in the Baking and Desserts category); American Brasserie (finalist for the Julia Child Cookbook Awards).
Because of the respect he has earned in the culinary world, Tramonto has won numerous awards, including: James Beard Award –Best Chef Midwest; James Beard Award –Best Service (Tru); Wine Spectator Grand Award (Tru); Top 10 Best Chef in Food & Wine Magazine (Trio); Four Star reviews in Chicago Tribune; Four Star reviews in Chicago Magazine; Best New Restaurant in New Orleans Magazine (Restaurant R’evolution).
I met Rick when, many of the nation’s leading celebrity chefs, including John Folse of Gonzales, Rick Tramonto, Charles Carroll, Dean Fearing, Rick Moonen and Susur Lee, in conjunction with the Louisiana Seafood Promotion & Marketing Board, gathered in Grand Isle at the Bridge Side Marina on June 28, 2010 to show united support of Louisiana’s fishermen and seafood suppliers after the Gulf Oil spill.
Secretary of Wildlife & Fisheries Robert Barham and Gov. Bobby Jindal were been invited to speak at the event.
Folse said, “I’ve been bombarded with questions from chefs about the seafood industry in Louisiana, How bad is it? Can we still get Louisiana seafood? What can I do to help? Finally, I just said, ‘Come on down and have a look for yourself.'”
The chefs arrived Sun., June 27th and following a brief tour of the gulf waters surrounding Grand Isle, they gathered for a “Seafood Jam” session at Eddie Rispone’s beach-house on the island.
As the pollution of the gulf waters continued, stories of the crisis’s effects slowly unraveled. The culinarians spoke out. Each nationally acclaimed chef made a brief comment on the value of Louisiana seafood to his restaurant and state.