After training in Montreal at the Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec (ITHQ), Ricardo studied radio and television broadcasting in Ottawa which led him to a job with the CBC based in Regina. When he returned to Montreal he met his future wife (and co-founder and president of RICARDO Media), Brigitte Coutu, a young dietician who was working as a researcher on a local TVA show. Soon enough they began working together to develop simple recipes for various television shows—Brigitte working behind the scenes and Ricardo in front of the camera.
In 2001 he joined the popular Quebec television program Les Saisons de Clodine as a co-host and became a regular columnist with the newspaper La Presse. People started to recognize him on the street. It wasn’t long before Brigitte and Ricardo were approached and offered the opportunity to create their own television show and magazine—focusing on their particular brand of recipes: simple, affordable and using ingredients that can be found at the corner store. In 2002, the first French-language Ricardo magazine was launched and the rest is, as they say, history.
RICARDO Media offers a multi-platform culinary experience to all Canadians:
- Best Magazine in Lifestyle category at the Canadian Magazine Awards in 2018
- Ricardo magazine is Canada’s only national cooking magazine
- Named Best Magazine Brand at the Canadian Magazine Awards in 2016
- Over 3 800 000 visitors to ricardocuisine.com
- Close to 6,000 recipes on ricardocuisine.com
- Over 600,000 fans on social media
- A television show broadcast on ICI Radio-Canada for 17 years and counting, plus other productions airing both in Canada and abroad
- Bestselling cookbooks published in both French and English
- A line of kitchen accessories available at 600 points of sale throughout the country
- The RICARDO Art of the Table collection of home accessories
- An expanding retail footprint with three restaurant/shops under the RICARDO Boutique + Café banner, located in Saint-Lambert, Laval and Quebec City
- An online store, with the entire range of RICARDO products on ricardocuisine.com/store
- A line of gourmet RICARDO food products
Ricardo is also a weekly columnist for Montreal’s La Presse newspaper and the Toronto Star, as well as Montreal radio stations Rythme FM and CJAD. He has also been named a member of the Order of Canada as well as the Ordre national du Québec for his efforts in making cooking accessible to all, and for his commitment to various social causes. In 2017, he received an honorary degree from the Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec for his career achievements. In june 2018, Ricardo and his wife, Brigitte have also received this honour for their contribution to food and nutrition in Quebec.
Passionate about helping others, for the last 12 years Ricardo has been a spokesperson for La Tablée des Chefs, an organization whose goal is to feed families in need and provide cooking skills and culinary education for the next generation. In recognition of his commitment and dedication to youth, he has also received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. And on a deeply personal level, after Brigitte was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006, Ricardo also supports various causes devoted to fighting breast cancer.
Along with architect Pierre Thibault and tri-athlete Pierre Lavoie, he is one of the founding members of Lab-École, a non-profit organization dedicated to building a multidisciplinary team of experts who will reimagine the environment of tomorrow’s schools. RICARDO Media was selected as part of the Canada 150 Signature Initiative Projects to inspire pride across the country in 2017 to produce WE ARE THE BEST, a series of 52 videos exploring Canada’s culinary richness.