Rising Star Chef Graeme Ritchie of VOLT - Biography

Frederick, MD

November 2014

Graeme Ritchie was born into the restaurant business. As a 14 year old, he picked up an odds-and-ends shift at the restaurant his mother managed in Rochester, New York—doing everything from laundry to washing dishes. Not a fan of scrubbing pots, Ritchie buddied-up to the restaurant’s Italian owner, who taught him basic prep skills and instilled in him a strong work ethic and love for cooking. At 16, he graduated to a cook’s position, taking a job at his grandfather’s country club. But his parents didn’t approve of his desires to attend culinary school, and so the passionate Ritchie applied for the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park without them knowing. After graduating from culinary school, Ritchie moved to New York City to work at David Burke and Donatella, followed by a tenure as executive sous chef at Charlie Palmer Steak in Washington, D.C. In 2008, he joined Bryan Voltaggio to open VOLT as executive sous chef and right hand man. After eight years as a Voltaggio veteran, Ritchie assumed the honor of its chef de cuisine post. At VOLT, he strives to give guests a new appreciation for local products, classic flavor profiles, and traditional pairings, presenting ideas that are familiar and yet completely unexpected. In 2014, Ritchie earned a StarChefs Rising Star Chef Award for his work at the restaurant.