Rich Rosendale, Chef / co-owner
Rich Rosendale’s style of cuisine reflects his experiences from his childhood growing up in Pennsylvania to his worldly experiences competing against some of the top chefs around the globe. Rich’s origins in cooking were nurtured and influenced at an early age by his Italian and German grandmothers. From the front porch of his grandma’s house in Somerset, Pennsylvania, shucking peas, to the world stage of the most elite cooking competitions, Rich offers a wealth of experience.
CERTIFIED MASTER CHEF
Rich is a Certified Master Chef, a distinction earned through the American Culinary Federation. The grueling 130 hour cooking exam held at the Culinary Institute of America has a 90% fail rate and only 67 chefs have ever made it through successfully—Rich being the youngest to ever pass the exam. The Exam is detailed in the book “Soul of a Chef” walking readers through this culinary marathon that few dare to take.
THE BOCUSE D’OR
Considered the most demanding five-hour cooking competition in the world. Rich mentored and trained with top chefs from around the country, including Thomas Keller, Daniel Boulud, and Grant Achatz. Rich was the USA Champion and earned the right to represent the United States in Lyon France where he cooked against 22 other countries, finishing in the top third of the field. Few chefs ever have the opportunity to cook at this level.
THE MOST INTERNATIONALLY COMPETITIVE CHEF BRINGS THE COOKING EXPERIENCE HOME
With over 55 international cooking competitions under his belt, Rich now brings his expert perspective to the novice cook so they to can use his easy tips, tricks and techniques in their kitchens at home. Rich can be seen every Saturday morning where he, host Evette Rios, and chef Vikki Krinsky rehab a family’s unhealthy dish to create something that is delicious, nutritional and easy to make.
The innovative company behind Rich Rosendale’s catering, consulting, restaurant partnerships, and training services. From D.C. to Dubai, Rich brings a passionate attention to detail and over 18 years of elite industry experience to create customized experiences and winning business solutions.
Rich has opened numerous restaurants over the years and enjoys cooking for people to put a smile on their faces. Although Rich has cooked for Presidents, foreign dignitaries and celebrities around the world, his favorite meals are with his family. Rich and his wife Laura are the parents of three children—Laurence, Liam, and Francesca.
Muriel Sarmadi, co-owner / co-founder
Muriel, having vested herself in the early stages of the software and IT industry, launched a start up, Daston Corporation in 1992 in McLean, Virginia. As CEO, she forged alliances and relationships with companies for contracting and subcontracting opportunities in both the private and public sectors. To devote more time with her children and family, she sold the company that had grown to 125 employees and 30 consultants in 2007 and entered “retirement.”
In 2010, Muriel acquired a parcel of land just outside Leesburg, Virginia. The picturesque, rural setting of Virginia wine country offered the perfect opportunity to convert vacant buildings to quaint antique and craft shops. Not easily finding a place to eat during construction, she embarked in developing a café coupled with the idea of sourcing products from local producers and showcasing the works of regional artisans. Thus, the concept of Roots 657 was born.
During the construction of Roots 657 in the Spring of 2016, Muriel had a fortuitous meeting with Chef Rich Rosendale. It was evident that the two had similar ideas and goals, ultimately arriving upon a partnership to create Roots 657 Café & Local Market.
After a six year journey from inception to the opening of Roots 657, Muriel now looks forward to tackling additional projects; a greenhouse/special event venue at Roots 657, and with special interest, the development of a commissary kitchen in downtown Leesburg. The site will host cooking classes and establish an incubator to work with small businesses, bringing their products to market at Roots 657 and throughout the Northern Virginia region.
Muriel shares the now-empty nest with husband, Mehrdad, who was previously the CFO of an IT company. Now ”retired,” he has become a master craftsman in multiple trades for fun, and is her inspiration and constant companion.
Joe Peroney, Roots 657 Chef De Cuisine / CO-OWNER
Joe Peroney graduated from Westmoreland County Community College with degrees in Culinary Arts and Dietetic Technology. After graduation he moved to White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, where he was accepted into the prestigious Greenbrier Culinary Apprenticeship Program. Joe completed his apprenticeship in January 2015, earning three gold medals for his cold food salon and a silver medal in ice carving. Upon graduation, he accepted the position of Sous Chef Tournant and was then promoted to Chef de Cuisine of Sam Snead’s at The Golf Club.