Chef Nick Ritchie of Bottega - Biography

Napa , Napa

October 2011

Urged by his father to take up something that would keep him out of trouble, Ritchie began his culinary career knocking on Chef Michael Chiarello’s door in 1994 and asking for a job. Chiarello consented, offering Ritchie the chance to work under him and Chef de Cuisine Carmen Quagliata in the kitchen of Tra Vigne, located in St. Helena, CA. Years later, Ritchie is now chef de cuisine of Chiarello’s newly opened Bottega in Yountville, CA, and he serves as the acting chef de cuisine for Chiarello’s NapaStyle gourmet food line.

Despite a reputation as Napa Valley’s culinary bad boy, Ritchie takes his kitchen seriously and has built a career alongside some of the nation’s brightest food minds. While working on his associate’s degree in Culinary Arts at The Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park, NY, he interned at Sazerac under Chef Jan Birnbaum in Seattle. Following his graduation in 2001, Ritchie traveled to Italy and worked as both an estagiere and tournant at La Campagnola di Salo, later returning to work once again under Chef Quagliata, this time as sous chef at The Vault in Boston.

Ritchie also passed through the kitchens of Seattle’s The Oceanaire Seafood Room, where he worked as sous chef under Kevin Davis, the Salish Lodge in Snoqualmie, WA, where he was as saucier and chef tournant, and Chef Daisley Gordon’s Campagne and Café Campagne in Seattle.