Randy Waidner always wanted to make his career in the culinary world. In high school he took cooking classes, and after school and on weekends he worked at a gourmet grocery store. He received his initial training at the Palm Beach, a French restaurant in Chicago.
After high school, he attended the College of Culinary Arts at Johnson & Wales in Providence, Rhode Island and throughout college, worked as a sous chef at the Inn at Castle Hill in Newport, Rhode Island.
The Great Chefs television crew were shooting Great Chefs from around the United States for Weber Grills Cookout Specials, from Boston to Seattle and down to the Caribbean. While shooting in Chicago with Great Chefs Rick Bayless, Jean Joho, and Sarah Stegner, the Great Chefs team traveled out to the Weber Grill Restaurant in Wheeling, Illinois to tape Randy Waidner, who had just returned from Johnson & Wales. The crew also returned later to tape Executive Chef Waidner for the Discovery Channel’s Great Chefs of America.
Chef Waidner helped open the second Weber Grill Restaurant in Lombard, Illinois in 1996, then opened their Chicago flagship restaurant in 2002. In 2006, he moved over as Corporate Chef of the Gibson’s Restaurant Group including the Gibson’s Steak House on Chicago’s Gold Coast, where he remains today in 2016