Chef Ray Valle was born and raised in Puerto Rico. From a young age, he helped out on his grandfather’s beef and pork farm tending to the animals and completing other necessary farm tasks. At age eight, his grandfather taught him how to butcher a pig. Helping his grandfather on the farm and other family members around the kitchen is how he developed his passion for the food industry and for cooking.
Chef Ray’s first job was in the food industry at age fourteen and involved cleaning and chopping vegetables for a catering company. From there, he worked a few other jobs in the industry before attending The Culinary Institute in both Puerto Rico and New York City. After earning his degrees, he worked for Donald Trump in Atlantic City and opened the Taj Mahal. He also worked in Florida, New Mexico and Chicago. Two years ago Chef Ray moved from Chicago to become the Executive Chef of the Richmond Marriott Hotel. Since becoming the Chef, he has revitalized the menu in this over 25 year old staple in the city of Richmond.
Chef Ray believes that the best way to make a paying customer happy is to serve the best quality product possible. When a customer walks into a restaurant they are paying for service and a quality meal. In order to do this, Chef Ray works first hand with all his cooks to improve their skills and knowledge of food. After all, he believes that he is accountable for what they send out of the kitchen. Helping them is rewarding to him too though, as he enjoys seeing them accomplish their goals and excel in their careers. In Chef’s opinion, the best reward for a job well done is seeing everything come together in the end, no matter how crazy the kitchen had gotten. It’s what he and his team work towards. Compliments from the customers are also always welcome rewards as well!
Whether he’s spending time with friends, fishing on the lake, or playing a round of golf; Chef Ray enjoys activities outside of the kitchen as well. On the weekends, you may also find him taking a stroll through a Farmers Market to discover new items and recipes for use in both his own Kitchen and at Marriott!
Most of the items on Chef Ray’s menu will feature a fusion of Latin and French techniques in order to prepare his favorite seafood and steak entrée’s. As Chef Ray also likes to use local and organic products where possible, you’ll notice both of those on there as well! Stop by the Richmond Marriott and try T Miller’s Sports Bar or consider hosting your next banquet there for a real treat!