Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore

Chef Oliver Ridgeway, was born and raised in Sussex, England. For Ridgeway, life in the kitchen began in his father’s restaurant, where his own passion began to emerge. After studying cooking at Crawley College, Ridgeway worked in multiple hotels and even a cruise ship before landing in U.S. where he held multiple chef positions and even cooked for VIP's during the Olympics. In 2011 Ridgeway made the move Sacramento where he took the Executive Chef Role at Grange Restaurant & Bar, and Camden Spit & Larder in 2018.


Show notes…

Favorite success quote or mantra:

  • "Do it nice or do it twice."

In today's episode with Oliver Ridgeway we will discuss:

  • Born into the industry and staying with it
  • Traveling there ENTIRE world and what you learn
  • Cutting your teeth on a cruise ship kitchen
  • Hotel kitchens
  • Airport restaurant kitchens
  • The importance of world travel
  • The importance of connections
  • Working as a chef at the olympics
  • You have to give a shit
  • Standards, expectations, and aiming points for your team
  • Accountability
  • Keep your ego and temper in check
  • How to let team members go during hard financial times
  • You don't know everything so surround yourself with people who know things you don't
  • Resentment in the industry

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Knowledge bombs

  1. Which "it factor" habit, trait, or characteristic you believe most contributes to your success?
    • Leading by example
  2. What is your biggest weakness?
    • Addressing the issue of team members who try hard but it isn't hard enough
  3. What's one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?
    • What makes you happy? What drives you?
  4. What's a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?
    • Telling good people that they aren't good enough
  5. Share one code of conduct or behavior you teach your team.
    • Working with efficiency and urgency
  6. What is one uncommon standard of service you teach your staff?
    • Making "no" sound like "yes"
  7. What's one book we must read to become a better person or restaurant owner?
  8. What's the one thing you feel restaurateurs don't know well enough or do often enough?
    • Look at the long road rather than just the immediate
  9. What's one piece of technology you've adopted within your four walls restaurant and how has it influence operations?
  10. If you got the news that you'd be leaving this world tomorrow and all memories of you, your work, and your restaurants would be lost with your departure with the exception of 3 pieces of wisdom you could leave behind for the good of humanity, what would they be?
    • Be kind
    • Cook from the heart
    • Do it nice or do it twice

Contact info:

Camden Spit & Larder website

Thanks for listening!

Thanks so much for joining today! Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

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Huge thanks to Oliver Ridgeway for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!


Restaurant Unstoppable is a free podcast. One of the ways I'm able to make it free is by earning a commission when sharing certain products with you. I've made it a core value to only share tools, resources, and services my guest mentors have recommend, first. If you're finding value in my podcast, please use my links!
Direct download: 662_Oliver_Ridgeway_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT