Richard takes job as chef at National Golf Club restaurant, The Max

Published 5:41 pm Wednesday, July 28, 2021

By Rita LeBleu
American Press

Michael Richard has accepted the executive chef position at the National Golf Club of Louisiana’s new restaurant, The Max. The Max is in The National’s newly completed clubhouse, and the restaurant is open to the public.

“It’s a restaurant for all that benefits from having a golf course around it,” Richard said. “I have a feeling the patio seating will be the most popular with its great view of one of the greens. Affordable menu items will be available all day, making it possible for as many people to enjoy The Max as possible.”

National Golf Club Manager Gerry Pocket gave Richard the freedom to develop the extensive, appetizer-heavy menu. Richard talked about some of those appetizers, including the barbecue bacon-wrapped shrimp with fried green tomatoes and the handmade crab cakes. The restaurant has a separate bar area with 15 taps.

“I guess I would describe the food at the Max as having a Louisiana flair with a little twist,” Richard said. “Of course, for me, a guy from Thibodeaux, it’s food that feels like home. I love the concept. I feel re-energized.”

Like many in the restaurant industry, Richard lost his job during the COVID shutdown. He was working again, but wasn’t feeling it when he heard The Max was looking.

When Richard graduated from high school he had his sights set on law school. While he was obtaining his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and political science at McNeese, he worked part-time at Jack Daniels Bar and Grill.

“I started as a line cook and worked up from there,” he said.

Richard named local chefs Kevin Thompson and Lyle Bro“They took me under their wing, trained and developed me, taught me cooking techniques and the business side of things,” he said.

When asked to name the person he’d prefer to cook for him, he named his mother and the items he’d most like to see on the table are Navy beans and rice with smoked sausage.

“I remember when we used to get together with my grandma every Sunday,” Richard said. “That’s what she always cooked. All the family was there. These days we don’t get together like that anymore. I miss that.”

At this time, the menu is still “in the development stage” and recipes are being perfected. However, he has settled on this. Richard wants diners to feel as welcomed when they come in and as satisfied when they leave as he did when he visited his grandma’s for Sunday dinner.

“I want every experience to make them look forward to coming back again,” he said.