Roy Handler is an American chef and television personality best known for appearing on his sister Chelsea Handler's mockumentary-style comedy series After Lately and her talk show Chelsea Lately.
Handler grew up in Livingston, NJ along with his five brothers and sisters. His mother Rita was a cook and his father was a used car dealer.
After graduating from High School in 1980, Roy started working in restaurants. After seven years of odd jobs and low paying restaurant wages, on the advice of his father Roy decided to attend the Culinary Institute of America, the most respected culinary school in America at the time.
Roy did his externship at the Four Seasons in Washington DC, a Five Diamond Property. Upon graduation he was hired as a production chef at The Hilton at Short Hills, Short Hills NJ, a Five Diamond property. It was there that Roy gained the experience he would need to grow professionally.
Structured and disciplined, the Hilton acted as a breeding ground for young hungry chefs that taught valuable life lessons. Roy spent five years there and after moving up through the ranks decided that hotels were not going be in his future due to the fact that he did not like taking orders from the hierarchy.
In 1994 Roy was hired as a sous chef at Morris County Golf Club, Convent Station NJ. He got a large pay raise and while the Club was old and dated, it offered him a chance to be more creative.
Roy worked there for three years until the chef retired. The Club then passed him over for chef and hired a chef from another Country Club and Roy worked for him for three months before he was mentally exhausted and left for greener pastures.
Unemployed for three months, Roy landed his 1st Executive Chef Position at Newton Country Club in Newton NJ. Again, the club was old and the menu was uninspiring, but it was his club.
He immediately started to run hip specials and in three months the menu was gone and the new menu was a daily special menu. There was no more regular menu: just 20 specials. The club members initially baulked at it but once they tasted the food, everything changed.
This was a critical point in Roy's career. He stayed there for two years and took the club to the next level.
Roy then moved on to Valentinos where he was hired for Chef money to be the Sous Chef. A rustic Northern Italian Restaurant located in the heart of Morristown NJ, Roy again flourished here.
The Chef who hired him picked up and left two months into Roy's hire and Roy became Chef by default. Roy, with the help of owner Jerry Durso and his daughter Anna Maria, continued the tradition of authentic Italian food with imagination.
Roy spent eight years there learning all about the most respected food on this planet. While there were ups and downs during his tenure, Roy again took on a job and when he left, that place was better than when he got there.
Roy landed his last job in NJ at a place called Fitzgerald's 1928. He went through three interviews before being hired to open this gastro-brew style pub up in 2007.
A small 80-seat restaurant with a bar proved to be a very daunting task for a privileged community. Roy's style of food took aim at simple creations that tasted great with artistic flair.
Customers were difficult and challenging as well as the boss but it made for an interesting two-year run before Roy got a call from his sister Chelsea to go to California to cook for her and her staff.
Torn between leaving his roots and heading out West, Roy made the decision to pack up shop and head West with his girlfriend Meghann Wright. Meghann and Roy knocked on Chelsea's door in August of 2009.
They started a catering business, while working for Chelsea and began to set down roots. It was a rough go as a new environment, new friends, a place to live and high prices and balancing a relationship all took their toll.
Meghann left LA in December of 2009 to pursue music in NYC while still having a helping hand in the catering business.
The first year turned out to be extremely rough for Roy and he contemplated giving it up and returning home. The following year he challenged himself and those around him and turned something sour into something sweet. Roy appeared on his sister's show more and more, developed friendships and continued to define his style of cooking in LA.
Roy now resides in the Marina Del Rey district, has an online 30 minute cooking web cast on Anthemloud.com every Thursday at 8pm. In addition to his catering company Roy is an aspiring comic.