Chef Rick Laughlin’s passion for cooking started at an early age. His fondest childhood memories are of family and friends gathered around a meal. Born and raised in Cleveland, OH, Laughlin is a second-generation Filipino deeply influenced by his mother’s Filipino-American cooking and his father’s work ethic.
Laughlin’s love of food led him to culinary school at Scottsdale Culinary Institute in Arizona. After graduation, he joined the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale, followed by further training at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cayman. In 2002, he accepted a position at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island and later became part of the opening team for the new concept, Salt, the hotel’s signature fine dining restaurant.
In 2010, Rick became Chef de Cuisine for Salt, and for the past 8 years he has led the AAA Five Diamond award-winning restaurant, where he continues to redefine Contemporary American Cuisine with his philosophy of “Keeping flavors familiar, and most importantly, keeping the integrity of the ingredients.”
In 2016, Laughlin was invited to cook at an invitation-only dinner at the celebrated James Beard House in New York City.
Chef Rick’s innovative ideas, contemporary techniques, and integration of salts from around the world has taken Salt Restaurant to new heights and garnered accolades ranging from the prestigious AAA Five Diamond Award (2012-2019), Florida Trend’s Golden Spoon Hall of Fame (2010-2017). He has also been honored with the 2016 Rising Star Marriott Award of Culinary Excellence as well as being featured in Emeril’s Florida Season 3, Forbes Travel Guide and Saveur Magazine.