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Total loan: $5,500
Temecula, CA, United States / Food
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A loan helped me to move into my own kitchen location and expand selling hours.
My name is Richard Taylor and I am originally from Los Angeles. I started in the restaurant industry at age 16 with part time jobs in summer, climbing up the “school of hard knocks” ladder from casual dining to fine dining, and eventually completed formal culinary training at Epicurean Cooking School in Beverly Hills. My family is from originally from Louisiana (they migrated to Los Angeles in the 1920s from Bayou Goula, near White Castle and Donaldsonville in Iberville Parish), but I grew up eating Southern style food, more than than New Orleans-type cuisine. My grandmother Sally, my great aunt Becky and my aunt Nicky were the real cooks in the family, but through God’s providence and blessing I seemed to inherit the family taste buds and cooking gene they had been given. Like these beloved ancestors, I've had a passion for food and cooking all my life. In 1984, an entrepreneur named Sam Duvall capitalized on the Creole Cajun “craze” made popular by the late chef Paul Prudhomme and opened a restaurant in Los Angeles called the Ritz Cafe. It was there I learned how to make quality gumbo in a high volume, high production environment from a Black chef from Mississippi named Albert. Albert was my mentor. The one thing I always vowed after my experience working for Ritz Cafe was that - if I ever got my own place - I would dedicate it to New Orleans food and the contributions of African American chefs everywhere who made it so well known.