After attending the pre-employment program at George Brown College in Toronto, Richard began his cook's apprenticeship with Holiday Inn; working primarily in Brantford but occasionally assisting as needed in Hamilton or Burlington. He left to go to the Hamilton Squash Club to work with Paul Grenier, whose untimely death left Richard in the Executive Chef's role for a brief period. Afterwards, he transferred to the Burlington Golf and Country Club working with Bruno Kaech.

In 1980 Richard switched gears and returned to the baking that he loved, working in Dominion grocery stores in-store bakeries. Meadowvale Town Center, Lloyd Manor and Cloverdale Mall in Etobicoke, Hopedale Mall and Cross Avenue in Oakville, Shoppers World in Brampton, Central Parkway and Six Points in Mississauga, were all stops on his agenda over the next six or seven years.

In 1986 Richard headed for the University of Toronto to take a Technical Teaching Diploma, and upon graduating was hired at General Wolfe High School in Oakville (later renamed White Oaks Secondary, after amalgamation). Richard spent almost 20 years at the school, teaching hundreds of students the joys and trials of baking and pastry arts. Today, many of his students are in positions of responsibility throughout the industry. His students entered competitions annually on many fronts and consistantly came away as winners. For most of his teaching career, his program was recognized as one the top three in the province.

After retiring from White Oaks in 2006, Richard taught at George Brown College for a year and also worked part time at Pane Fresco, an upscale artisan bakery café in Burlington Ontario, then as the corporate Bakery Manager for the Artisano Bakery Café chain with restaurants in Oakville and Etobicoke.

During his years of teaching, Richard worked on the executive of the Bakery Production Club of Ontario, Bakery Showcase Executive, the Pastry Chefs Guild of Ontario, the Provincial Advisory Council on the Baking Trade, and was a founding member of the Institute of Canadian Bakers along with Sylvia Jenkins and Hazel Daubeny. This latter organization joined with the new Bakery Association of Canada in the late 1990s. In addition, during that time Richard was instrumental in getting the baking competitions up and running with Skills Canada and Skills Ontario, steering the Ontario Competitions for seven years (five as chairman) and the first two Canadian Competitions. In 1997 he moved on from competition organizing and became more involved with his theatre interests. Richard is currently the editor of the Guild Journal for the Canadian Pastry Chefs' Guild and is a member of the editorial board for Bakers Journal magazine.

Dedicated to keeping the love of baking alive, for nearly 20 years Richard donated a trophy to the Caledonia Agricultural Society for their annual baked goods competition at the Caledonia Fall Fair. For nearly 25 years, Richard ran a catering company Rycar Catering as a sideline and was kept busy doing weddings, community events, church events and was also the in-house caterer to Stoney Ridge Cellars for a number of years. Richard has also been a long time guest on the Canada AM Robbie Burns Day broadcast, cooking up a traditional Robbie Burns Supper of Haggis, Tatties and Neeps, Steak and Kidney Pie, and Trifle, and in the 1990s appeared on several CHTV broadcasts cooking for Stoney Ridge Cellars.

To contact Richard, email him at: richard@ractenor.com


[ Home Page ]|[ Biography ]|[ Pastry Orders ]|[ Costume Design ]|[ Stage Experience ]|[ Performance Schedule ]|[ Baker St. Victorian Carolers ]


All rights reserved. Webmastering and graphic design services by Just Adequate Media.