Chef Ricky Moore – SALTBOX Seafood Joint
A native to New Bern, Ricky Moore is the Head Chef and Proprietor of SALTBOX Seafood Joint of Durham, his first entrepreneurial adventure. This wildly creative chef can’t narrow down his inspirations to a mere few, referencing Italian, Southeast Asian, Southern American, Indian, Spanish, Middle Eastern, Moroccan, Greek, Latin American, and Country French influences in his average menu. One thing is for sure: a dish from Chef Moore is never short on creativity and inspiration.
- Has a backup career as a bass player.
- Former paratrooper in the US Army.
- Happily married to wife Norma for over 25 years.
It was a home economics course in high school that turned Chef Ricky on to the world of food and cooking; his upbringing in Germany as a “military brat” exposed him to global cuisine. As an aspiring illustrator, he turned his creative energies to the culinary arts while exporting the world as a cook in the US Army for seven years.
Chef Ricky fancies himself a globetrotter, traveling the world to lend his craft to restaurants such as Le Tarbouche, a contemporary Middle Eastern eatery in Washington DC, Le Relais, a modern French Bistro in Great Falls, and Parrot Cage Restaurant of the Washburn Culinary Institute in Chicago. Chef Ricky was the recipient of the Chicago Tribune’s Good Eating Award in 2015, and was a Chef Advisor to Green Youth Farm, an affiliate of the Chicago Botanical Garden.
After traveling to France to work at Michelin-rated Apicius in Paris with Jean-pierre Vigato, Le Cerf in Alsace with Michel Husser, and Le Violin d’Ingres in Paris with Christian Constant, Chef Ricky staged at Daniel in New York City and Cuisine of India in Toronto with Shishir Sharma.
In 2007, Chef Ricky appeared on the Food Network show Iron Chef America, where he challenged Iron Chef Michael Symon in the “Thanksgiving Battle.”
His cooking style can only be described as a contemporary maverick interpretation of classical, regional, and global cooking, foraging familiar flavors that achieve unexpected results. Honestly made, high-quality food that is prepared with creative intelligence makes each dish as unique as this unique individual. Chef Ricky attributes his enthusiasm for food and cooking to his family upbringing and life experiences, but he also credits Fernand Point, the greatest influence on modern French cuisine; Alain Chapel, one of the founders of nouvelle cuisines; and any and all chefs who “religiously believe in seasonality, and cook with a level of craftsmanship and reverence for food.”