Executive Chef Walter Wilkes / Richmond, Virginia – now – Mathews, Virginia
Chef Walter Wilkes describes his culinary career as beginning humbly 19 years ago with an opportunity to take on an apprenticeship with a highly decorated ACF Mentor and Culinary Institute of America Alumni. The establishment dubbed The Red Sky in Deltaville, Virginia is what he calls a “hole in the wall fine dining”. Changing the menu nightly and eventually working through all the positions of the kitchen, the owners named him Executive Chef in the wake of his mentor striking out on his own. From there doors opened to move quickly in the ranks of five star rated establishments such as Colonial Williamsburg’s famed Trellis Restaurant and The Red Fox of Snowshoe, West Virginia, described by Fodor’s Travel Guide as one of the Top 25 Restaurants in the US.
Upon returning home to what the locals refer to as “the Rivah” or sometimes even as “God’s Country”, he landed for many years at the prestigious Tides Inn as Banquet Chef for the famed hotel. Then in 2005 he was invited to participate in the opening of Yorktown’s Historic Riverwalk Restaurant, rebuilt after the destruction of Hurricane Isabel, making the rounds as PM Chef, AM Chef, Banquet Chef, and then Executive Sous Chef.
Which leads us to the present where an unnamed name dropper, a friend of a friend, knows a chef that would be a perfect match for the Grand Re-Opening of The White Dog Bistro. Chef Wilkes has created a style of “Refined Comfort Food” that has been internationally influenced by his Classical European training, his Creole and Italian mentors along with his own Chilean roots. Together they fuel his passion for only the freshest food and ingredients that are used in his one-of-a-kind creations. This philosophy leads him to seek out local watermen and round-the-corner farmers for the best of what “Rivah Country” has to offer. His desire to bring this formidable culinary skill to the White Dog Bistro culminates in a dining experience that will be second to none!