Ryan grew up in Knoxville before attending Johnson and Wales University in Charlotte, North Carolina to study Food Service Management. Moving into the kitchen, Ryan began his career at one of the South’s first progressive fine dining restaurants, Magnolia’s in Charleston. It was here that Ryan learned to value the importance of sourcing locally and making a commitment to sustainability.
From Charleston, Ryan found himself as a Sous Chef at Nashville’s Flyte, where he refined his management skills and mastered whole animal butchery. In 2015, he joined Alex in Ho Chi Minh City to develop Pasteur Street Brewing Company’s culinary program and oversee tasting room operations. It was in Vietnam that Ryan was able to expand his culinary knowledge working with fresh and exotic ingredients that are not readily available in the United States.
While Elkmont Exchange was in its concept planning phase, Ryan kept his skills sharp at EMILIA in Market Square. He has incorporated many of his past experiences with fine dining, ingredient sourcing, and animal butchery into creating approachable, yet world-class, menu for Elkmont Exchange.
In his spare time, Ryan enjoys playing music, disc golf, and watching movies with his girlfriend and infant daughter.