Chef Cody Dickey Named VMFA’s Culinary Director and Senior Executive Chef

Virginia Native Will Be the First Culinary Director at the Museum

Richmond, Virginia — The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) is excited to announce that Chef Cody Dickey has been appointed to the position of Culinary Director and Senior Executive Chef. With twelve years of experience, including five years in key chef roles, he brings impressive credentials to the job. Chef Cody, as he is known, has worked with Michelin Chef John Fraser and served as Chef de Cuisine for Bobby Flay’s Gato in New York City.

Chef Cody joins Chef Greg Haley, Amuse Executive Chef, and Chef Doug Kunkel, Event Executive Chef, to complete the culinary leadership team at VMFA. “Chef Cody has a remarkable background in the culinary arts and we are thrilled to have him at VMFA,” said Alex Nyerges, VMFA’s Director and CEO. “Chef Cody’s exceptional skills and knowledge of restaurant management are sure to take the museum’s dining experience to the next level.”

As Culinary Director and Senior Executive Chef, he will develop inspired menus and select quality ingredients for Amuse Restaurant, Best Café and the museum’s artfully prepared special event menus. Chef Cody will also hire and train new food service employees, maintain related health and safety protocols and manage daily food service operations at the museum.

“I am excited to start the next chapter of my culinary career, and I look forward to bringing my passion for food to VMFA’s patrons, partners and members,” said Chef Cody.

Chef Cody comes to VMFA from Los Angeles, California, where he served as executive chef at the southern-French inspired Bistro Jolie and at Carbon Beach Club at the Malibu Beach Inn, a Leading Hotel of the World's luxury property.

A graduate of Le Cordon Bleu in Ottawa, Canada, he began his career working in restaurants in Virginia Beach and Norfolk. Chef Cody has worked as a pastry chef, barista, server, private chef, restaurant consultant and even as a farm hand to better understand how fresh produce is grown before being delivered to restaurant kitchens. “Although the West Coast has been touted as being the mecca of farmers’ markets, I have always found that the farmers and growers here on the East Coast, and specifically in Virginia, were always more accessible and visible in the dining scene,” added Chef Cody. “It's so refreshing to be back in a state with seasons and where local growers and vendors can truly be highlighted.”

Chef Cody is well-traveled, both domestically and internationally, and with his move to Richmond, he is returning to his roots after an eight-year absence. “After living in New York City and Los Angeles, I was craving a smaller community with personality and east coast sensibilities,” said Chef Cody. “Richmond checked all of the boxes for me — thriving art scene, fantastic and rapidly-growing dining scene, proximity to the ocean and the mountains, metropolitan hub with small town vibes — and the people are so friendly here!”

For more information about dining at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts visit

About the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, Virginia, is one of the largest comprehensive art museums in the United States. VMFA, which opened in 1936, is a state agency and privately endowed educational institution. Its purpose is to collect, preserve, exhibit, and interpret art, and to encourage the study of the arts. Through the Office of Statewide Partnerships program, the museum offers curated exhibitions, arts-related audiovisual programs, symposia, lectures, conferences, and workshops by visual and performing artists. In addition to presenting a wide array of special exhibitions, the museum provides visitors with the opportunity to experience a global collection of art that spans more than 6,000 years. VMFA’s permanent holdings encompass nearly 50,000 artworks, including the largest public collection of Fabergé outside of Russia, the finest collection of Art Nouveau outside of Paris, and one of the nation’s finest collections of American art. VMFA is also home to important collections of Chinese art, English silver, and French Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, British sporting, and modern and contemporary art, as well as renowned South Asian, Himalayan, and African art. In May 2010, VMFA opened its doors to the public after a transformative expansion, the largest in its history.

The museum has undertaken an exciting $190 million expansion and renovation, anticipated to be complete in late 2025. International firm Smith Group is charged with designing a 105,000-square-foot wing for contemporary art, African art, photography, special exhibitions and events; a new 40,000-square-foot collections center to accommodate an expanded conservation department and collections storage; and 45,000 square feet of renovations to the museum’s 1936 building, 1970 building and Leslie Cheek Theater.

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is the only art museum in the United States open 365 days a year with free general admission. For additional information, telephone 804.340.1400 or visit

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