executive chef

Joel Ryan

My name is Joel Ryan and I’m an Executive Chef.

I live in Fort Collins, Colorado.

The best thing about being a chef is sharing a common thread with people wherever you go. When I mention my occupation, people will likely tell a story, share a recipe, or relate an aspect of their own life and culture.

A food tip I’d like to share is that if something (soup, sauce, grains, etc.) is starting to stick to the bottom of a pot, remove it from the heat and let rest a couple of minutes.  Generally, whatever is sticking will release.

I love filled pasta… agnolotti is the best pasta shape for me!

If I could only have one dessert for the rest of my life, it would have to be coconut meringue pie.  In addition to my love of coconut, birthdays in my family were often accompanied by pie (in lieu cake) and this was always my favorite. 

YouTube is my guilty pleasure.

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Farm fresh eggs with brilliant orange yolks are my favorite ingredient because they can elevate a dish into something really special.

A wicked sharp, well balanced, carbon steel knife will get most anything done in the kitchen, I can’t live without it.

When I’m not cooking, I spend my time writing and performing music, urban farming, hunting, fishing, and mountain biking.

The highlight of my career is having the opportunity to mentor so many young chefs, seeing their passion come to fruition, and having them reach out to thank me years later. Everything comes full circle.

As a chef, I wanted to be a chef and now, I'm doing it!

My first food memory is from when my grandmother used to get fresh milk from a neighbor.  It would come in a gallon-sized glass pickle jar sealed with waxed paper and a rubber band.  We would skim off the cream and make butter. The subtle, earthy flavors of that raw product were amazing...to this day, homogenized milk tastes sterile to me.