Owner and Executive Chef
Personality. Passion. Attention to Detail. Award-winning Chef Richard A. Bailey brings all of these qualities to his culinary endeavors in Denver and the Vail Valley.
Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Chef Bailey has been immersed in the culinary world since 1981 – 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.
His last venture before heading to Colorado was another country club in Dallas where he spent five years. During that time he also earned his Executive Chef Certification CEC with the American Culinary Federation. Highly skilled and credited, Chef Bailey then stepped into the role of running all of the culinary entities as Executive Chef at the Vail Valley’s prestigious Club at Cordillera. Throughout his seven-year stint, Bailey was in charge of every restaurant and food outlet at Cordillera which meant he wrote and was involved in every aspect of the menu, culinary research and costs. After Cordillera he helped an extended family member open a restaurant in Nantucket, traveled back to the Bay Area to assist with the opening of a country club in the affluent Hayward Hills area, and then returned to the Vail Valley to reopen the Manor Vail Lodge following their enormous renovation.
In 2011, after over 30 years of operating the culinary side of other people’s restaurants, country clubs and hotels, Bailey exercised his entrepreneur side by establishing a new venture and opportunity in 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 and Door 2 Door dinners. Established in the Vail Valley, the company recently expanded with the opening of Urban Kitchen located in Southeast Denver.
When Bailey isn’t working he can be found avidly working on his classic car collection. Other interests include dining, skiing, mountain biking, art and attending food and wine events. Bailey believes in supporting his local communities and does so by donating his time to select charities throughout the year. He manages the execution of menus for galas, special events and donations for organizations including BRAVO, Canine Companions for Independence and Wounded Warriors, among others, in the Vail Valley. In the Denver Metro area, he supports Project Bicycles for Humanity, Excelsior Youth Foundation and the Cancer League of Colorado.