Meet the Yahoola Team!
Rick Whorf, best known to locals as the former owner of Rick’s Creative American Cuisine, brings his genuine love of cooking and passion for the “art of service” into the kitchen with him every day to create fresh, unique dishes for your culinary enjoyment.
Rick is a prime example of the American dream realized—working his way up the restaurant industry ladder through hard work, determination and the desire to succeed. Though not formally trained, Rick’s enthusiasm and thirst for knowledge allowed him to move from kitchen to kitchen learning the tricks of the trade. From humble beginnings as a dishwasher in Pittsburgh, Rick went on to become Banquet Chef at Hyatt Pittsburgh, Sous Chef at Hyatt Atlanta and Garde Manger of the AAA, 3-Diamond rated Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill. After nearly 10 years experience in this high volume, fine-dining hotel environment, Rick became a restaurateur in his own right.
Throughout the nineties, Rick went on to open four restaurants here in Dahlonega where he acted as Owner, General Manager and Executive Chef—Nature’s Cellar Café, Renee’s Café, French Kiss Restaurant & Bartini and Rick’s Creative American Cuisine. Rick’s love of all things food is evident in the diverse offerings of these four very different restaurants. His emphasis on friendly service, original recipes and the use of local, sustainable ingredients garnered him a reputation as a culinary innovator. When the beloved Rick’s Creative American Cuisine closed its doors in 2009 after 11 years in business, it was definitely a sad day for Dahlonega.
In addition to being a skilled Chef, Rick is also a dedicated mentor to his staff. “I share the knowledge that I’ve been given throughout the years with the people who want to learn. By giving your knowledge away, you build a team that can really become invincible to challenges.” Rick’s attitude of sharing and guiding his employees ensures the highest quality and freshest taste for every dish leaving his kitchen.Rick’s devotion to creative original recipes, the use of fresh local ingredients and exceptional customer service make for a great fit to the Yahoola Creek Grill family. Come on up to the Creek and enjoy our Southern-inspired cuisine, made fresh to order by the incredibly talented Chef Rick Whorf.
Meet Elaine Walton, our Front of House Manager and Event Coordinator. Elaine comes to us with over five years of fine dining management experience and knows what it’s like to have hard work pay off! Starting out as a server at Sia’s in Atlanta, Elaine’s diligence was rewarded as she moved into management. Sia’s gave Elaine the opportunity to work with some of the best chefs in the Atlanta area, Kevin Rathbun, Jay Swift and Scott Serpas. While working at Sia’s, Elaine enjoyed participating in several charity events such as Taste of the Nation, The Liver Foundation and Share Our Strength.
After living in Atlanta for over 20 years, Elaine decided it was time for a change of scenery. Choosing Dahlonega was easy as she fell “madly in love with the place” after visiting one afternoon and just knew it was the place she wanted to raise her two younger children and spend the rest of her life! Elaine is now happily living in Dahlonega. She has four boys, two of which are twins and in the Navy! We’re very pleased to have Elaine join our team and can’t wait to see what she helps us accomplish!