Ali H. Richards bio
Writer, Photographer, Videographer, Traveler
My taste for the open road started early. Fortunately I come from an adventurous family where road trips were a common theme.
By the time highschool rolled around I had been all over the United States, South America, Mexico, and Canada.
After graduating with a BA in English and French from the University of Colorado, I was on a plane bound for Europe. I worked my way around France, England, Spain and Portugal as an Au Pair, English teacher, writer and photographer.
I returned back to Colorado, a place that had truly become my home. I ditched “real life” and was a snowboard bum for many seasons in Vail and then Aspen. I did everything from construction cleaning, landscaping, bartending, catering, snowboard instructing and massaging. I lived for being outside, for snowboarding, hiking, mountain biking, and climbing. Along this journey I was always writing and taking photographs. Something bigger was starting to call me and I knew it was time to somehow start taking my talents more seriously.
I met JR in Aspen, Colorado. One month later, I became a part of his production team for the Wine and Food Documentary Series called: The Wine Travelers. One van, four people (all guys and myself), filmed, ate gorgeous food, drank amazing wine, and met character after character who left our bellies and hearts full. I had a crash course in videography, and audio, along with being the ” French Interpreter” and stinky cheese taster and expert.
It was a very challenging job, but I’m happy to say, I survived, beautifully. And my life was changed for the better.
Next stop, California. Our love of food and wine stories took us all over Sonoma, Napa, Russian River, Healdsburg, Carneros, and Santa Barabara. We produced wine stories for Sebastiani, Audellsa, The Foley collection, as well as many other amazing wineries.
Throughout our wine country experience, we were always told… “It takes a lot of good beer to make good wine…” So it was no surprise that …
Our next adventure was a long awaited documentary called, Beer Hunter, the Movie. A documentary about JR’s travels with the highly acclaimed and beloved author, Michael Jackson.
We toured breweries around the United States and Belgium, filming beer and interviewing the brewers Michael had helped to put on the map.
The documentary was a true collaberation of all the brewers who loved Michael, not to mention editing countless hours of JR’s travels with Michael around the world. It was one of the most challenging and rewarding projects I’ve ever had the honor to work on.
Along our travels in beer and wine country, food was always a very important subject. The stories of the farmers, chefs and all the people behind every bite of food, were just as fascinating as the beer and wine. We vowed some day to turn our attention to the stories behind food as well.
Those travels led us to produce a cooking television series called, Back of the House with Charles Mereday. We filmed in some of the best kitchens around Southwest Florida and the Bahamas, truly showcasing the life and cooking experiences of a variety of chefs.
In between our filming of food, wine and beer, filming nature is another true passion. We escaped to Costa Rica for six months to immerse ourselves in wildlife and the deep rhythm of the tropics.
II’ve been called a gypsy many times. The rhetorical question, “when are you going to settle down?” is still being asked, and my reply with a big grin is still the same, “probably never”.
I was born to wander and share my adventures. I am lucky enough to have a loving husband whom shares this passion. The world is our home.
And I still have a hard time when someone asks me, “where are you from?”
I take a deep breath and ask, “Do you have an hour?”