Chef Ritter began cooking at 8 years old, making pasta and hamburgers for his father and brothers on Monday nights, while his mother sang professionally. Food was in his blood! And he finally followed his dream in 1990, when he gave up his career as a stock and bond broker for Shearson Lehman Brothers at 14 Wall. He went from trading stocks and bonds to knives and whisks! He was accepted into The French Culinary Institute and graduated with honors. He also holds an AOS degree in Culinary and Pastry Arts, as well as Restaurant Management from the Art Institute of New York City.
In 1994 he opened his own restaurant in Forest Hills, New York, which quickly gained popularity by having the best brisket of beef in the metropolitan area. He won The New York State Beef Award in 1994, for “Beef, It’s What’s for Dinner.” He was also written up in The New York Times, Daily News and Newsday, and was interviewed on WOR Radio with Joan Hamburg and Arthur Schwartz.
After selling his restaurant, Chef Ritter began teaching culinary arts at The New York Restaurant School, Citytech College and The Center for Kosher Culinary Arts. Over the years he has also appeared on the Food Network’s: Ready, Set, Chop; acquired a Master of Arts Degree in Education; become a Certified Dietary Manager, and maintained his status as a Certified Hospitality Educator. He also holds ServSafe Manager, Instructor and Proctor certifications. Chef Ritter’s passion for the food industry, his organized logical method of teaching, and his skill in the restaurant industry makes him a Culinary Specialist…the exact title he was hired as at William-Sonoma’s flagship location in Columbus Circle, in 2014. He loves what he does; he loves to help others become great cooks, and he loves to change people’s lives in positive ways. Chef Ritter also runs a dining services division in a New Jersey retirement home, serving over 200 people daily, three times a day, and he continues to teach his culinary skills to amateurs and professionals alike.