A Legal Sea Foods Story

Presented By:

Rich Vellante

Keynote Abstract:

Rich Vellante has been leading teams, transforming culture and coaching individuals for 20 plus years at Legal Sea Foods.  Legal Sea Foods is a family owned business with eight different restaurant concepts, a fish processing plant and a retail company headquartered in Boston.  Vellante joined Legal Sea Foods when there were just 6 restaurants, today there are 35 along the east coast.

Rich is going to share his story of transformation; from his classically trained upbringing, controlling coaching style, to understanding the importance of changing his approach.  As he explains, “what might have been effective in the past, doesn’t guarantee success today”.

Disruption in the food service industry has forced him to think differently.  Rich will focus on two key area of coaching and leading.

  • Influencing culture
  • Individual coaching and continuous improvement

He will share real-life stories and techniques that have been beneficial in creating a gold standard for the restaurant industry.

Keynote Bio:

Rich Vellante is in his 23nd year as Executive Chef and Executive Vice President for Legal Sea Foods.

A graduate of Hamilton College, he studied at the French Culinary Institute in New York City before spending two years in Italy.  Rich also attended the executive education program at Harvard Business School.  He was former chef-owner of a three-star restaurant in Massachusetts.

Rich was awarded “Executive Chef of the Year” by the Massachusetts Restaurant Association in 2018.  Vellante earned a Chef 2000 award, was voted “Menu Strategist of the Year” by Restaurant Business magazine and among the nation’s Top 50 R&D Chefs by Nation’s Restaurant News.  He has designed and executed multiple elaborate dinners for the Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, the international French gastronomy organization.  He was honored to be the first civilian chef in US history to cook for the nation’s Senators (2002 and 2004).   He’s repeated as guest chef at the prestigious James Beard House and Culinary Foundation in New York City; lectured on emerging trends in seafood; promoted the practice of cooking local, sustainable, and organic products; and hosted a major Share Our Strength fundraiser for hunger relief.   He also chaired Legal’s 2007 Leadership Conference held in New Orleans (LA).

Vellante currently resides in Boston, Massachusetts.  He is the father of two.

Photo credit: Ted Axelrod

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