Working Up the Ranks: Chef Ricardo Clough
by Brian Wubbena, Director of Culinary
Ricardo Clough (pronounced like cough) is our chef at the Woodlands, Texas location. He grew up in Miami, Florida and became fascinated with food at an early age. His father was an Executive Chef for the Intercontinental Hotel and worked there his entire life. Ricardo would watch his father perform culinary wizardry at home, making something beautiful out of nothing. He thought it was amazing to watch his father repurpose leftovers into excellent meals for the family, which sparked the passion that would eventually lead him to our doorstep.
Chef’s father introduced him to the service industry and got him a job at the hotel. He worked as a server and bartender before the call to enter the kitchen became too strong to resist. His dad suggested that having a degree might give him a bit of an edge in the culinary world, so he enrolled in Johnson and Wales to begin his formal education in culinary arts. Like many of us, Ricardo found that he learned more by working in the industry rather than in the classroom. He decided that his education would evolve best in restaurant and hotel kitchens, so he left school to pursue his career full time.
Chef worked in several food operations over the next decade. He was careful to stay at each job for several years to really gain the knowledge offered in each kitchen. Eventually, Ricardo had two children and decided it would be best to leave the hustle and bustle of the big city to raise his kids in a more relaxed environment. This lead Chef and his family to pack up and head to Texas.
The Cloughs settled down in the town of Spring and Chef got right back to work by joining the Cheesecake Factory. His position as a certified trainer offered the opportunity to travel as well as develop some serious organizational tools. After gaining all the knowledge he could from his work with the Cheesecake Factory, Ricardo set out to take his next step, landing him at the Black Sheep Bistro. This popular restaurant was wildly successful, and he found himself running several restaurants under the guidance of the Chef/Owner. Alas, all good things must come to an end and eventually, the restaurant closed its doors.
In 2016, Chef Ricardo landed on the doorstep of Truluck’s in the Woodlands, TX. Although there wasn’t a chef position available, the allure of working with quality seafood proved to be irresistible. He accepted a line cook position and prepared to work through the ranks. Ricardo took over as Sous Chef in 2017 and continued to grow from there. He has been the Chef of the Woodlands location for about two years now.
One of the things that Ricardo is most passionate about is mentoring and developing his team. He doesn’t just spout company lines about culture, he finds great joy in giving his time and truly coaching each individual cook. This love of culture also shows itself in his community service work. Chef routinely cooks meals for underprivileged youth and even teaches classes at schools. Ricardo is fully dedicated to his children, his fiancé, his team, the restaurant, and the Woodlands community. You can sense the love in his restaurant, and don’t get that without passion and commitment.
Next time you’re in the Woodlands, Texas, make sure to stop by Truluck’s to indulge in one of Chef’s delectable creations. Your table is waiting.