MERIDEN — Richard “Rick” Tompkins, a chef at several area restaurants, died Sunday at 51.
“He was a very goofy guy. He loved being around family,” said Mia Tompkins, the second-oldest of Tompkin’s four children. “He cared about other people a lot.”
Rick Tompkins died following a brief illness at Hartford Hospital, according to his obituary. A city native, he graduated frp, Berlin High School in 1985 and most recently resided in Meriden.
After working in many roles at Sans Souci since its opening in the 90s, Tompkins opened the Red Bridge Grill in May 2017 at The Village Barn on River Road.
He told the Record-Journal last year he was first introduced to cooking as a teenager. When he first opened the Red Bridge Grill, Rick Tompkins planned to serve comfort and bar food, saying “there’s nothing I can’t make.”
He decided to close the grill after about six months to look for other opportunities, according to Mia Tompkins. He was most recently working as a chef at Time Out Taverne in Durham.
Mia Tompkins, 21, said her father was an “amazing cook” and taught his kids some of his skills.
“Our favorites were his nachos at the beach house and his goulash pasta he would make us,” she said.
Mia Tompkins said besides cooking, he loved to fish and play hockey. When they were all kids, she said her father always wanted to take his family on trips and venture out into the world.
Rick Tompkins is survived by his daughters, Chloè, 24, Mia and Grace, 16, and son Alex, 20. He is also survived by his sister Alicia Karsky and brother Gregg Karsky.