Chef Todd Richards is an award-winning chef known for his contemporary cooking style rooted in Soul & Southern cuisines. Todd is the founder of The Soulful Company Restaurant Group in Atlanta which includes Lake & Oak Neighborhood BBQ, Soul: Food & Culture, and the upcoming Kuro. He is also the author of SOUL: A Chef’s Culinary Evolution in 150 Recipes and the host of the HRN podcast Soul By Chef Todd Richards.
We recorded this episode live at Samesa while Todd was in New York doing research for his next cookbook. We discuss how he started his career, the mentors that have shaped his work, and his own approach to mentoring and management. Particularly in light of the current labor shortage in the hospitality industry, Todd shares his insight on pricing food and taking care of his employees with fair wages, retirement funds, and opportunities for ownership. Plus, we talk about catering to dietary restrictions and food allergies - including Todd’s own - and why they present an opportunity to keep challenging yourself and expanding the menu.