Talking tacos and inspiration with Fort Wayne chef Sean Richardson

by | People, Q&A

An Indiana native, chef Sean Richardson became obsessed with food in his late teens while working his first high-volume line cook job in Fort Wayne, Ind. Richardson eventually opened The Golden in Fort Wayne with chef Aaron Butts and was a James Beard Award semi-finalist for Best Chef Great Lakes in 2017. After years of discovery and honing his craft, Richardson opened Rune Restaurant in March 2024. His focus is to bring his guests an elevated yet approachable dining experience. He describes his approach as “loud with big flavors, a bit chaotic, technical when it needs to be, but never fussy, and always delicious.”

What made you want to become a chef?

I love food. Realizing that this passion could take me around the world working in kitchens and with like-minded people was the catalyst. Learning how to take raw ingredients and transform them through the vast techniques that exist is what continues to push me every day. 

What is your favorite type of food and why? 

Anything that is cooked low and slow – soups, stocks, stews, braised meats. The flavors that can be brought out from a few simple ingredients and time never fail to leave me in awe of cooking. 

Where do you get your inspiration? 

Mainly from the food that is available. I certainly turn to books (old and new), as well as to other restaurants and chefs that I think are pushing harder than I am – they keep me on my toes, as I am naturally a competitive person. When I go out to eat in other cities and get to experience what it is that they are doing or experimenting with, it immediately inspires me to get back to the kitchen and cook. 

What is your favorite thing to make for yourself and your family? 

Tacos. I love them and feel pretty certain I could eat tacos every single day. 

If you could eat anywhere in the world, where would that be, and what would you eat? 

Right now, the answer to this question is Mon Lapin in Montreal, Canada. I would order the entire menu. 

If you could choose a favorite place in Indiana to visit, where would that be, and what would you eat? 

Milktooth in Indianapolis. The food is always fun and delicious, and it never seems out of place. But, to be fair, I have not done a great deal of exploration in Indiana lately. So, I am sure there are brilliant places that have popped up over the past couple of years that I should have my eye on. 

What items are always in your fridge? 

Chili Crisp, Hellmann’s Mayonnaise, a variety of cheeses, oat milk and orange
juice because recently my kids have been obsessing over it.

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