Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Chef Bailey has been immersed in the culinary world since 1983 – at Sonoma Mission Inn where he started as a dishwasher at age 16. After spending a few months in the kitchen, Bailey decided he wanted to acquire more knowledge from Executive Chef Larry Elbert who, at the time, was considered one of the top three chefs in California. After six months of learning from Elbert, Bailey got his chance to work on the line and for the next year he worked alongside Elbert. During that time Bailey realized that the discipline of a kitchen spoke to him in ways nothing else ever had. Over the next seven years, Bailey gained unparalleled experience working on every food station which resulted in a solid knowledge of all aspects of culinary.
In the years following, Bailey accepted a position at the Robert Mondovi Winery which is where he discovered his passion for food and wine. He was there for six months before being recruited at age 23 to work as a sous chef at a country club in the area. Following his time at the country club he was offered a position at Steigenberger Maximilian Hotel in Germany where he assisted Chef Charles Saunders in opening a California-style cuisine restaurant. During his time in Germany, Bailey traveled, learned about a variety of cuisines and experienced foreign cultures. In 1992, he returned to the United States and accepted his first Executive Chef position at a country club in Marin County. He then worked at Sushi Ran in Sausalito – the only Michelin star restaurant in Marin County at the time – where he learned precision, detail and how to roll sushi.
In November of 1996, Richard was lured back into the country club world and out of Northern California. He was hired for the job of Executive Chef at Lakewood Country Club in Dallas, Texas. While there, he oversaw 26 full-time employees and a seasonal staff of 40. He orchestrated breakfast, lunch and dinner six days a week with food service for five banquet rooms, one formal dining room, a Mixed Grill, full service swimming pool and Men’s and Ladies’ locker rooms. During that time, he also earned his Executive Chef Certification CEC with the American Culinary Federation. Highly skilled and credited, he then stepped into the role of running all of the culinary entities as Executive Chef at the Vail Valley’s prestigious Club at Cordillera. Hired to oversee its four restaurants, 4 Sous Chefs and 25 Cooks. Bailey was in charge of every restaurant and food outlet at Cordillera which meant he wrote menus and commanded every detail of the menu to include culinary research and costs. In addition to regular á la carte service, the Club at Cordillera restaurants host a myriad of club member events including golf tournament dinners, holiday party banquets and private catering at member homes. After joining the Cordillera team, Bailey implemented many new programs that enlivened the club community culture.
After seven years at the Club of Cordillera, he was motivated to help an extended family member open a restaurant in Nantucket as a brief endeavor, then, back to the Bay Area to assist with the opening the TPC Stonebrea Country Club in the affluent Hayward Hills area.
In 2009 Bailey was hired as the Executive Chef by Destination Resorts and returned to the Colorado to reopen the Manor Vail Lodge in Vail following their extensive renovation.
After over 30 years of operating the culinary side of commercial restaurants, country clubs and hotels, Bailey decided it was time to run his own business so in 2011 he created Taste 5 Catering. Today he oversees every detail of Taste 5 Catering which includes a wide variety of service style options, personal chef services (which covers the entire process from shopping to clean up), weddings, corporate and social gatherings, cooking classes. Depending on the season Bailey can lead 3-4 Sous Chefs and manages a contract staff of up to 15-individuals which consist of servers, kitchen staff and tip-trained bartenders all of whom report directly to Bailey.