After 21 years at the helm of the daily show Ricardo, the chef, entrepreneur and author whose name alone has become a brand in its own right is laying down his apron and handing it over to the next generation… in front of the cameras, at least. Ricardo Larrivee is leaving his place in the kitchen, but far from retiring, he will remain in the back kitchen to watch over a culinary business whose recipe has proven itself and which has not finished being revisited.
Career turning point, life turning point: at the age of 56, the time for a certain balance sheet strikes for Ricardo Larrivee who, on April 2, announced his departure from his own show on Everyone speaks about it. Departure ? Yes and no. More than 2,900 cooking shows and two decades later, the host will keep an eye on the grain to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible. From the start of the school year, three days a week, Ricardo’s animation will pass into the hands of chef Isabelle Deschamps Plante, who will have to put on the XL apron of her predecessor. However, the mentor will not be far away and reserves occasional appearances.
“I wanted it to be a next generation girl and chef to avoid comparison. It’s a healthy transition. There is something invigorating about having a new person pass on their joy of cooking. »
The “shock” will be cushioned by a solidly established environment. The website remains the same. Added to this is a new tool that will push the media strategy further and better serve users. Available in both languages, My Ricardo will offer a personalized experience thanks to artificial intelligence – including more precise profiling based on browsing data collected in the Ricardo environment – which will allow the platform to adjust to tastes. and the culinary habits of the user.
“We realized that people often have trouble finding their way around because there are too many choices on the web. Instead of being presented with 12,000 recipes, they will be offered five choices that suit them and they can archive them as they wish, with all their favorite recipes, whether they are ours or elsewhere. On My Ricardo , you can also create your own menu of the week – “a way to save 10 to 15% on your grocery budget” -, be offered your grocery list and discounts, all in exchange for a subscription of $3 per month or $32 per year.
His turn of fifty, Ricardo Larrivee has been simmering for years with his lifelong partner, in life and in business, Brigitte Coutu. “Our goal has always been to sustain the brand beyond our own presence. I have lots of energy and projects. It was a good time to get involved in the next generation and give myself the necessary perspective to better consider the future. The announcement marks the end of a period, underlines the entrepreneur, but above all the beginning of another which could well last 25 years and be the most beautiful stage of his life.
At 81, Martha Stewart has found a new role in a vibrant company, he gives as an example. “I aspire to find a place that is fun and positive for those around me. I want to eventually be able to do things at my own pace, going to the office not to get the latest numbers, but to find out how my gang is doing and what’s going on in their lives. »
A great luxury, it should be said: that of observing the progress made with full confidence in the team put in place.
Could clan spirit be Ricardo’s recipe for success? “I would even say ‘eating together,’ replies the main interested party. It changes humanity, it changes history. And what is beautiful is that it starts from home – from family, friends, the group. It is a place of learning and privileged transfer of values and knowledge. As long as I have the energy to do so, I will continue to envision social change through food. »
Concretely, those who manage today to embrace their roles as head of business, family or kitchen without feeling of imposture will continue to supervise their teams and watch over the values of the company. Seeing further, the way is clear and ideas abound.
“Relaxing on a beach is not really my style. I am a manic-depressive without the depressive side, admits the entrepreneur, laughing. What I want is to give myself for all that is social. The teaching of cooking at school is a fight already on track, as is the promotion of regional flavors and agriculture, “a matter of self-esteem and local pride”.
He also has three children who will have them in turn. “I want to have time to be a proper grandfather teaching his grandkids how to cook and plant tomatoes. I also like to restore houses and save heritage. There, I have just bought a historic monument that we are going to completely restore. And then, and then… “One of my problems is having too many interesting things in life!” With more time, I might have even more ideas. We’ve been warned: Ricardo is here to stay.