RICHARD VELLANTE


Richard Vellante, in his sixth year as Executive Chef, brings the personal focus and quality perspective of a chef-owned establishment to Legal Sea Foods Inc. For five years he owned and operated Vellante’s in Milford and earned a three star rating from the Boston Globe.

After graduation from Hamilton College, Vellante studied at the French Culinary Institute in New York City and subsequently served as Chef in Waltham’s acclaimed Allegro. He studied an additional two years in Italy, cooking his way through several provinces using traditional, farm-fresh ingredients and seafood. “The passion and simplicity of food in the Italian culture greatly influenced my approach to cooking and culinary techniques.”

Richard Vellante’s experience and background are ideally suited to the Legal Sea Foods mandate of serving only fresh, top-quality seafood. Vellante develops the menus and oversees the Legal Sea Foods culinary staff in 26 restaurants. In l990, he was earmarked for a Chef 2000 award, foretelling his likely emergence as an industry star for the next millennium. Indeed, Vellante was voted “Menu Strategist of the Year” in 2003 by Restaurant Business magazine, and counted among the nation’s Top 50 R&D Chefs by Nation’s Restaurant News.

Vellante prepared a New England clambake for “The Rosie O’Donnell Show” in April 2002, and taught a class at his alma mater, The French Culinary Institute, in June 2002. In addition, Vellante spearheaded Legal’s Spring 2002 menu promotion, The Spices of Life. In this effort, he worked with two master chefs from India to create a special Ayurvedic-influenced menu of exotic spiced foods from Southern India. A media blitz spurred a press tour along the Eastern Seaboard in which Vellante appeared on many radio and television programs in Boston (MA), Washington, DC, and Boca Raton (FL). The Indian promotion also saw Vellante hosting a seminar for The Smithsonian Institution during the tour.

For the popular TV Food Network, Vellante has appeared with chef/host Bobby Flay in a Boston segment of “Food Nation” and also an episode of “Sara’s Secrets” with chef/host Sara Moulton. He has twice been guest chef at the prestigious James Beard House and Culinary Foundation in New York City, most recently in February 2002. In August 2002, Vellante was the featured guest on “B.Smith with Style,” as he showed the well-known author and style authority around the historic Gloucester (MA) Fish Display Auction and dispensed advice on choosing supremely fresh and healthy seafood.

He has been featured on the CBS Morning Show’s “Chef on a Shoestring” as well as cable television’s “Healthy Kids” show. Vellante has twice led Legal’s sponsorship of “Days of Taste,” the American Institute of Food & Wine’s educational program for schoolchildren. Culinary and nutritional training for young kids is a particular interest for Vellante, since he is himself the proud father of two children.

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