Photo and text by Andrew Jason
It’s easy to tell that Toby Reichart is passionate about what he does. He grew up in Las Vegas and has worked around the world as a chef. He moved to Fargo to make the Beefsteak Club one of the best spots for fine dining in Fargo. Reichart has done just that. Some of his stories will leave your jaw dropping while others will leave your sides in pain from laughing. We hope you’re ready to hear some tales from the road from this eccentric chef.
FM: How did you get involved in cooking?
Riechart: I grew up in Las Vegas. I needed a job. There was nobody at home. Somebody needed to work. I went to work in 1973 at the Riviera Hotel and worked there up until the ‘80’s. At that time Howard Hughes was still around and Vegas was coming through a lot of changes. I’ve worked almost every house in Vegas.
FM: What did you love about it so much?
Riechart: I think the kitchen is something that challenges you not only mentally and physically but it also challenges every sense that you would think of in business. So you have to think about every single aspect in business… You have to do all this work and you don’t know if anybody is going to come in and eat or you don’t know if a thousand people are going to come in to eat and you get run out of everything…
FM: Tell us one of your crazy stories.
Riechart: I did an amazing party at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. It was for some big-time high rollers. We helicoptered everything in. Put together a full meal buffet. These people rafted down and we had a full meal with white coat chefs. The whole deal… That was crazy. We helicoptered in everything… The amount of money we were spending was crazy. Those guys were big time rollers though.
FM: Do you miss working at those kinds of places?
Riechart: Somewhat. It’s cool in a way. But, ‘Vegas has bad money’ is what I tell everyone. It comes from people losing.
Toby Reichart is the Executive Chef of the Beefsteak Club. Check out his food yourself at 612 1st Ave. N, Fargo. More information on the Beefsteak Club at www.bscfargo.com.