Chef Joe Anthony Richardson is a graduate of the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Portland Oregon. After graduating from the culinary program in 2001, Chef Richardson had a choice to make. Would he follow his training and education to obtain a position primarily utilizing his French culinary skills, or would he follow a different path, a path driven by his passion for Japanese food and culture, and train to become a sushi chef? The answer to that question was years in the making. Chef Richardson understood that in the Japanese tradition, the path of a sushi chef was like that of a samurai requiring a lifetime of learning, high personal standards, and unshakeable self- discipline. Before making that lifetime commitment, Chef Richardson wanted to see what sushi was about and began working at a sushi establishment in Scottsdale, Arizona. Chef Richardson stayed there for three (3) years, until one day a patron of the Scottsdale restaurant invited him to come to Las Vegas to open up a sushi restaurant. Chef Richardson jumped at the chance to take on a new challenge and decided to take a risk.
After working for one year in Las Vegas, Chef Richardson had made up his mind. Although he knew he could spend years learning the art and craft of sushi making, he knew he wanted to be a sushi chef. He spent a few months visiting the many sushi restaurants in the city of Las Vegas. Everywhere he went, he would ask the sushi chef behind the bar who would be the best teacher to learn from. One name kept coming up – Ernest Park (“Ernie”). Ernie had been making sushi for 30 years and had a reputation for being the best in the city, based on his precision, technique, and passion for the art of sushi making. Chef Richardson found Ernie, who at the time was the Executive Sushi Chef of Café Wasabi. For 6 months, Chef Richardson went to Café Wasabi to eat after work. He sat in front of Ernie and watched his every move. Eventually he mustered the courage to ask Ernie to take him on as a student. At first, Ernie respectfully declined, as Ernie wasn’t the type to have taken on just anyone. But after 6 months of asking in every way he knew how, including offering to wash dishes, Ernie finally acquiesced and invited Chef Richardson to join him behind the sushi bar and to be his apprentice, to learn an art form comprised of more than 1000 years of history and tradition.
Since that day, Chef Richardson has worked at some of the most renowned sushi restaurants in the city of Las Vegas, including Sushi Samba where he was the Executive Sushi Sous Chef, Zuma where he was the Executive Sous Chef and BARMasa, where he was Executive Chef. In May of 2015, Chef Richardson took his talents to the Caribbean, where he joined the culinary team at the Cuisinart Golf Resort and Spa on the island of Anguilla. Unfortunately, the resort was devastated by Hurricane Irma in September of 2017, ceasing operations for the season. Chef Richardson spent some time at Zuma at the Cosmopolitan, before leaving this opportunity.
Chef Richardson has proven he has what it takes to be considered among the best. What makes Chef Richardson so unique is his amazing ability to fuse his formal culinary training with his artistic and visionary culinary skills, resulting in food that transcends classification. His creations are not only delectable, but truly are works of art that inspire the sense of taste, smell, and touch. Dining with Chef Richardson offers an unparalleled dining experience, creating a lasting impression on even the most sophisticated palette.
After taking the position with Cuisinart, Chef Richardson received multiple awards for his culinary creations, including being voted the Best Restaurant on Anguilla (2016) by the tourism board, and has been featured in many travel publications, including but not limited to:
Departures, April 2017
Conde Nast Traveler, September 2016
USA Today, May 2016
USA Today, July 2015
Today, you can find Chef Richardson back in Vegas, as Executive Chef and the culinary mastermind behind the modern Japanese and sushi restaurant 172, located inside the Rio Hotel and Casino. Together with his partner, owner Tony Sgro, Chef Richardson has developed a unique cutting edge menu of offerings which include the Omakase dining experience at the Chef’s table. 172 has vowed to redefine both the music and culinary experience in Las Vegas, with only the highest quality and freshest offerings.
Meet Chef Joe at 172 nightly, Wednesday through Sunday, doors at 5pm. Reservations: 702-513-3356
Rio All-Suites Hotel Casino
3700 W. Flamingo
Las Vegas, Nevada 89103
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"Modern Japanese Cuisine"