Chef Rita grew up in Portland Oregon. After graduating from the Westin Culinary Institute, she moved to New Orleans to cook.
Here, she quickly immersed herself in the kitchens of well-known local restaurant scene.
She spent two years in the Restaurant Domenica kitchen working under Chef Alon Shaya, loving the “bustle and volume”.
She spent a year at the Bywater neighborhood favorite, Bacchanal on Poland Avenue.
She returned Downtown to Chef Todd Pulsinelli’s kitchen of Restaurant August. Chef Rita was inspired by the skill levels and standards, “Here, I took serious ownership of my work. I wasn’t just cooking food. I wanted to be proud“.
Chef Rita Bernhardt and William Barial opened critically acclaimed PDR, featuring “small plate” specialties in the new St.Roch Market. They first met in the kitchen of Domenica.