Rick Ortiz is no stranger to the culinary scene. His interest in food started at a young age watching his grandmother cook traditional Mexican food for him after school in Chicago's Bridgeport neighborhood. By the time Rick entered high school, he knew he had a passion for cooking and wanted to share what he learned with others. After working summer months at Ruffled Feathers, a country club outside of Chicago, Rick was hooked to the fast-pace, the creativity, the organization, and the discipline it took to work in a kitchen and to be a Chef.
After high school, Rick enrolled into Kendall's College Culinary Arts Program in Evanston. While at Kendall, he studied in Marseille & Aix En Provence, France, assisting Master Chef Rene Berges at his two star Michelin restaurant, Relais Sainte Victoire. During his time spent in France, he also had the opportunity to work for La Truffe Noir, a high-end catering company. Upon completion of his externship, he received a scholarship for his academic achievement. After receiving his Culinary Arts degree from Kendall, Rick went on to work at Courtrights in Willow Spring continuing to practice his craft. Following Courtrights, he moved to other kitchens in Chicago, gaining experience, honing his skills, and earning more responsibility at each restaurant along the way.
In 2004, Rick joined Delaware North as the Sous Chef at Soldier Field. He was promoted to Executive Sous Chef for their fine dining operations in 2006. He was selected to compete in the Culinary Olympics in Erfurt, Germany in 2008. Roland Henin, one of 70 ACF-certified Master Chefs in the United States coached him. After several years working at Delaware North, Rick and his wife, Ashley, an event planner, decided to take a leap of faith and leave their positions to travel abroad in anticipation of opening their very own restaurant.
Rick & Ashley traveled throughout Central Mexico and Europe. After eating their way through lots of taco stands in Mexico, and antiquing the stalls of the UK, the idea of Antique Taco was born. When the couple returned to the States, they began popping up at markets throughout Chicago. One of the first being Randolph Antique Market. After gaining recognition for serving delicious fresh market fare, they had the opportunity to open their own storefront.
Rick and Ashley Ortiz opened Antique Taco in 2012 in the Wicker Park neighborhood. Antique Taco flourished over the years allowing them to open their second location in 2016 in Rick's childhood neighborhood, Bridgeport. After almost 12 years of tacos and margaritas, Rick and Ashley took yet another leap of faith and started a new business in South Haven, Michigan. Little Roadside opened its doors to the public in August 2023. Little Roadside are tiny rental cabins, which were gutted to the core, renovated, and designed and styled with things they love in hopes to create many memories for their guests.