The culinary journey of celebrity chef Rick Moonen first started in 1978 when he graduated first in his class from the Culinary Institute of America. From there he apprenticed under star chef Jean Morel at L’Hostellerle Bressone in New York City. He then worked at La Cote Basque before working under the legendary Alain Sailhac at Le Clrque, also in New York City. Celebrity chef Moonen then became the executive chef of many critically acclaimed New York restaurants; including Le Relals, Century Café, Chelsea Central, and then the Water Club where he worked with renowned chef Buzzy O’Keefe for six years. Following that he became the executive chef at Oceana where he earned three out of three stars from the New York Times. He then partnered to open a new restaurant, a Greek fish house named Molyvos, where he received three more stars for his restaurant, the first Greek restaurant to ever earn three stars from New York Times. After five years he moved on to open his restaurant RM in New York, where he yet again received three stars in 2005.
Celebrity chef Moonen closed RM in New York to open Rick Moonen’s RM seafood at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. In 2008 he received national attention and critical acclaim there. In 2008, he fulfilled a life long goal of his by publishing his very own cookbook, Fish with out a Doubt. Upstairs from RM Seafood, Rx Boiler Room, which opened in July 2013, he combines the alchemy of food and drink as the menu creates a spin on classic comfort food with a creative and cutting-edge experience.
Celebrity chef Rick Moonen has also appeared many times on TV over the years. In 2008 his recipe for Catfish Sloppy Joes was featured on Esquire’s Sandwich Encyclopedia, which got him invited on the Oprah Winfrey Show where his recipe was named “The Best Sandwich in America”. In 2009 he was a contestant and finalist on TOP CHEF: masters, as well as a judge on TOP CHEF: Las Vegas. He gave cooking demonstrations on NBC’s The Today Show, and on CBS’s Early Show, where he defeated chefs Paul Bartolotta and Bradley Odgen in a “Salmon Smack down”.
Celebrity chef Rick Moonen is also on the advisory board for the Las Vegas Three Square Food Bank. In 2006 he was voted “Seafood Champion” by Seafood Choices Alliances, an organization that he is heavily involved with that advocates for ocean conservation, the dangers of overfishing, and sustainability.