Originally from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, award-winning Chef Richard Verhagen began his career in hospitality with the Marriott Corporation in Los Angeles. An impromptu move to Mazatlán, Mexico in his twenties introduced him to the city's rich Creole culinary tradition, and inspired him to pursue formal culinary training. He eventually returned to Canada to pursue new ventures and hone his culinary skills; since then, he's worn multiple hats as executive chef, restaurateur, festival coordinator, writer and food consultant. Having owned and operated multiple pubs and restaurants, a twelve-year stint as chef & owner of the acclaimed Raven Street Market Cafe on Salt Spring Island, BC, stands out among his long list of accomplishments.
Known for his ability to land anywhere and cook up a storm, Chef Richard was aptly nicknamed, "The Hurricane". His passion for local, organic, sustainable ingredients, his love of bold, multi-dimensional flavors, and the influence of Creole cooking are present in every dish he makes.
Together with his wife, Cynthia, he launched The Hurricane Kitchen in Victoria, British Columbia in 2012, moving the family business to Cindy's native Los Angeles in 2013. As of 2016, the Hurricane Team are now beginning their next chapter, as they re-launch their food truck and catering business on the beautiful California Central Coast.
"An award winning restaurateur and Chef, Richard’s love of fresh, local and sustainable foods is evident in everything that he does. While his affection for the open flame is well known - if occasionally a little unnerving."
~ Sip And Savour Food Festival