Whatever happened to . . . Rudy Speckamp?


March 29, 2008|By Frederick N. Rasmussen

It was always a bit of a drive through the rolling hills of Carroll County to Rudys' 2900 in Finksburg, but once you arrived and the maitre d' warmly welcomed you at the door, you knew instantly it was well worth the effort.

And for those who appreciated its classic cuisine with an emphasis on game and seafood dishes as well as luscious and delicately prepared sauces, the news of its closing in 2005 was indeed a blow.

It was the third such classic gastronomic institution - right behind Jeannier's and Maison Marconi - to close that year.

"I wanted to spend more time with my family and that was just one of the many reasons to move on. So we sold the restaurant," said master chef Rudy Speckamp, 62, from his home in Hyde Park, N.Y.

"The restaurant business is hard work, and it takes a lot out of you," Speckamp said.

After selling his home in the Cold Saturday neighborhood of Finksburg, Speckamp and his family moved to a new one in Hyde Park, overlooking a broad stretch of the Hudson River that sweeps by far below.

Speckamp has returned to work - not in a hot restaurant kitchen - but at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, where he joined its Industry Solutions Group.

"We are industry consultants, and our clients include hotels, casinos, steamship lines, airlines, restaurant chains and food manufacturers," he said. "We also do research and development and help design new product lines."

Speckamp says there are parts of Maryland that he misses.

"I miss crab cakes, soft crabs and Eastern Shore cooking," he said. "I also love Maryland produce, but we have pretty good produce right here in the Hudson River Valley."

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