Chef Rick Dodd, who along with his wife and business partner Sylvana, operates P.S. Restaurant in Vestal. We feature Rick for several reasons. First, creating STIR was his idea and he and Sylvana have been the driving force behind the organization. Second, his cooking demonstrations at STIR Tasting and Demonstration Parties are always one of the highlights of the events. And most important of all, the culinary adventure you will experience at his restaurant is second to none.
But let’s go back to the very beginning. Rick was the only male in the home economics class at Binghamton Central, which was his first introduction to cooking. During and after college, he tried different jobs, but always returned to his first love – the kitchen. He seemed to have a knack for cooking. After working at the Peppermill, Augostino’s and Copperfield’s, he found himself at McCoy’s Dockside Restaurant. If you’re as old as I am you probably remember those places.
The move to McCoy’s Dockside was great for two reasons. It was an opportunity to hone his culinary skills and that’s where he met his wife who was also working at the restaurant. After a bit, Dockside owner Jim McCoy asked Rick to move down town to Number 5 as kitchen manager. It was another great opportunity to learn more, especially the management side of the business.
That experience paid off on November 13, 1990. That morning Sylvana drove to Albany to pick up their liquor license and that evening Rick served the first eight dinners at PS Restaurant – now owned by Rick and Sylvana Dodd.
Through the years Chef Richard Dodd has been awarded Chef of the Year Southern Tier Chapter of the American Culinary Federation, nominated for the National Chef of the Year by the American Culinary federation. Chef Dodd has been awarded Bronze, Silver and Gold Medals in the American Heart Association Culinary Competitions. In 1991, the American Culinary Federation (ACF) awarded him the designation of Certified Executive Chef (C.E.C). The ACF is a professional organization for chefs and was founded in 1929 in New York with the goal of
promoting the professional image of American chefs worldwide through education of culinarians at all levels.
Rick is innovative in the kitchen and enjoys creating an eclectic blend of flavors, often with an Asian fusion touch. He loves to create the evenings special from scratch, based on what fresh products he has in the cooler. He stays on the cutting edge of culinary techniques, like the use of the Sous Vide, which is a method of cooking in which food is sealed in airtight plastic bags then placed in a temperature-controlled environment for longer than normal cooking time and the results are astounding. You can count on Chef Rick Dodd to continue to be a leader in Southern Tier culinary activities.
And one of the highlights of STIR Tasting and Demonstration Parties is the cooking demonstration segment. Rick is always willing to share some of the culinary secrets that have made P.S. Restaurant famous like the time he showed how easy it is to make “Kang Ped”… Chicken Stir Fry in a Red Curry Coconut Cream and another time Grilled Shrimp over Asian Pesto with Basil Oil and Balsamic Reduction. We’re not sure what he will cook up for future events, but you can count on it being interesting and something you can replicate at home.
We’ll be introducing other local chefs or culinary personalities, but in the meantime be sure to Unchain Your Taste Buds and Eat Local.