Our Team Members
Richard Langston - EXECUTIVE CHEF
Although he started his culinary career later than many chefs, Richard traces his love of food and cooking back to his childhood in Louisiana. Learning to cook at his grandmother’s side with ingredients fresh from her garden, little did he imagine how his background would shape his career.
With a BS in Business/Finance from LSU, he moved to San Francisco with his corporate job, and discovered the food scene there. After spending 10 years in accounting, he was fed up with life behind a desk, so his wife, Melinda, arranged a tour of the California Culinary Academy and he decided then and there to attend. Working his way through school cooking in restaurants in the Bay Area, Chef Langston became chef at La Pastaia in Palo Alto six months after graduating with high honors from CCA.
On a vacation with his wife and young daughter, Chef Langston discovered Idaho. They moved to Boise in 1992 and Chef Langston became the chef at Amore. The Boise dining scene was growing, and when an opportunity came along to purchase a small bakery in Hyde Park, the Langstons opened Richard’s Bakery & Café in 1996. Another restaurant space in Hyde Park became available two years later and Richard’s Across the Street was born.
Chef Langston then took a detour into corporate dining, where he was Executive Chef over the food operation at Micron. There he re-connected with a former customer who helped him assemble a group of investors and he opened Café Vicino in 2006. For ten years it was recognized as one of Boise’s best restaurants, and Chef Langston was honored as a James Beard Nominee for Best Chef Northwest in 2014.
In 2016 Chef Langston was approached by an Oregon hotelier to open an independently-owned and operated fine dining restaurant in the Inn at 500 Capitol. Chef Langston decided to take the leap from a 42-seat cafe, to a 100-seat restaurant with a full bar, room service and banquets. Richard’s opened on New Years’ Eve 2016. His wife, Melinda, is his business partner in this venture, and their daughter Molly is a pastry chef in Portland.
Melinda Langston - BUSINESS MANAGER
Melinda arranged Richard's tour of the California Culinary Academy back in 1989. Who knew this is where she and Richard would end up 30 years later! With a background running businesses in several different fields, including the two previous Richard’s incarnations in Hyde Park, the restaurant business has always been the most exciting and challenging. And it sure beats sitting behind a desk in a law office (although the principle of herding cats still applies).
Jim Borton Jr. - GENERAL MANAGER
Native Boisean Jim Borton, Jr. (don’t forget the Jr.!), has returned to his hometown after traveling the
country as a General Manager for high-end concepts such as McCormick & Schmick’s and the Hard Rock
Café. A Boise High and BSU alum, he has returned to lay down roots in Boise where he truly
calls home. His passion is delivering an experience every guest would expect at Richard’s and every staff
member wants to be a part of. He brings over 25 years of experience, enthusiasm and dedication to
Richard’s. If he’s not in the restaurant, you’ll find him on the golf course!
Matthew Varbel - ASSISTANT MANAGER
Matt got his start in hospitality at age 18 working banquets at the Doubletree Riverside in Boise, moving a few years later to the Red Lion Downtowner as their Banquet Manager. Matt then made a big change, relocating to California to take the Banquet Manager position at the San Francisco Hilton, a four-star property and the West Coast’s largest hotel. There he endeavored to give guests 100%—100% of the time. Like so many Boiseans who move away, Matt missed Idaho’s four seasons, camping and snowboarding, and after 10 years of working and living in the City, he moved back home. Matt’s skills and background are tailor-made for Richard’s. Look for him in the dining room and in our event spaces, helping us give our guests 100% every day.
Rebecca Bailey - PASTRY CHEF
Becca grew up in upstate New York where she fell in love with all things food. She received a degree in Forensic Science and moved to Idaho to work in a crime lab. Finding that work less fulfilling than she had hoped, Becca turned to her love of baking as a way to fill her time. It’s no coincidence that pastry is the most scientific of the culinary arts, so with her science background, Becca was able to make the career move to pastry chef. She loves creating amazing desserts and absolutely loves seeing the joy it can bring someone—because dessert really is the best part of any meal!