Born and raised in Indonesia, Budiharto (“Richie”) had every intention of enrolling in college to study Industrial Engineering. Perhaps it was all the food television he had been watching, but he had a change of heart. “I liked the idea of creating something that makes people happy and having the opportunity to do that on a regular basis”. No more industrial engineering, Richie enrolled at Le Cordon Bleu in Arizona and obtained a degree with a specialty in Pastry and Baking.
While he was enjoying living and working in and around Arizona and Las Vegas, Richie’s brother, who was in New York for school, urged him to come visit him in New York. “I came to visit for 2 weeks and I fell in love with New York”.
During his education Richie volunteered to work with many great chefs and it was during this time that he was truly exposed to all that can be created with chocolate. Assisting the likes of Chef Stephane Treand (MOF) and Chef Jacques Torres (MOF), he learned a great deal about techniques and witnessed their “amazing vision and creativity” in the medium of chocolate. “Having worked with them inspires me to become a master chocolatier.”
Since Richie had fallen in love with New York City and with chocolate, it seems only natural that he has found a home here at Jacques Torres Chocolate! “I love to work on seasonal chocolate pieces and special projects like the production of the chocolate Stanley Cups, but there are also so many other elements to learn here. I’m learning production techniques, machine operation and from Chef Jacques I can also learn about business ownership and management.” Richie’s ultimate goal is to one day own and operate his own chocolate business.