Richard Sandoval, Bringing Mexico Flavors to the World


ichard Sandoval '91, Owner of Moder Mexican Restaurants
Richard Sandoval ’91, Owner of Modern Mexican Restaurants

CIA Alumni Bio

As chef and owner of Modern Mexican Restaurants, Richard Sandoval is a culinary consultant, television personality, cookbook author, and brand ambassador. He brings the vibrant flavors and traditions of Mexico to the world. The RS Hospitality Group has 45 restaurants in the United States, Mexico, Costa Rica, Japan, Qatar, Serbia, and the United Arab Emirates. Chef Sandoval had provided concepts for 30 restaurants worldwide and collaborates with hotels like the Conrad Hotel and Resorts, Fairmont Hotel and Resorts, Intercontinental Hotel and Resorts, Four Seasons Hotel and Resorts, Viceroy Hotel and Resorts, and The Ritz-Carlton. Chef Sandoval is equally passionate about tequila and has curated one of the largest collections in North America and the Middle East and aspires to educate diners on their quality and diversity.

Growing Up in Hospitality

Growing up in Mexico City, the young Chef Sandoval and his family would gather at his grandmother’s table each Sunday for large, lively meals. He would often join his grandmother in the kitchen as she prepared authentic Mexican dishes from scratch, instilling early on his passion for authentic Mexican food. Meanwhile, his restaurateur father, owner of Madeiras and Villa Fiore in Mexico City, was imparting lessons on the business side of the hospitality industry.

Encouraging Tomorrow Chefs

When not cooking, Sandoval is passionate about training the chefs of the future. He supports their growth on the Board of Trustees at his alma ma­­ter, the Culinary Institute of America and has recently received an honorary doctorate from Johnson and Wales. For his work, he has been awarded Mexico’s National Toque d’Oro 2003, Bon Appétit Restaurateur of the Year 2006 and Cordon d’Or Restaurateur of the Year 2012 and various other awards for his restaurants around the globe.

In addition to serving at the helm of Modern Mexican, Chef Sandoval is co-author of Modern Mexican Flavors and Richard Sandoval’s New Latin Flavors: Hot Dishes, Cool Drinks. He serves on the CIA’s Latin Cuisines Advisory Council, which has been instrumental in the development of education initiatives at the CIA, San Antonio—the college’s branch campus in Texas.

Chef Richard Sandoval majored in culinary arts at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. He is an executive chef and restaurateur and is the owner of RS Hospitality in Denver, CO.