Shane Ryan worked alongside Matt’s in the Market chef Chester Gerl for two years before taking over (first in an interim capacity, now officially) after Gerl moved to New York last month. But this isn’t Ryan’s first market gig; he bussed tables at Café Campagne during culinary school and upon graduation begged for a slot in the kitchen.
Of course, in between these gigs, Ryan worked at a luxe Himalayan boutique hotel in Bhutan, a French restaurant in the Carribbean, and nailed a cooking audition for Joël Robuchon’s team that landed him on the opening crew of the famed French chef’s restaurant in Las Vegas. Of that three-Michelin-star gig, Ryan recalls, “I was probably the most stressed out every day I was there than I’ve been for the rest of my life.”
Eventually the Lakewood native and his wife decided to head home, and Ryan connected with Matt’s. Man, does that guy sound happy to be back in the Market. While he’s got a few menu tweaks in the works, don’t expect any crazy changes now that he’s running the show. There might be more geoduck on the menu. And look for some animals besides pig to grace the charcuterie board. The bigger changes will be happening across the hall.
The chef says his day-to-day routine hasn’t changed dramatically. “You’re just answering more questions from all over, versus just in the kitchen."
Here, a few of Shane Ryan's favorite things.
Dish to make at home: Green curry with Manila clams
Dish to impress guests: Foie gras terrine with caramelized chestnuts and candied cranberries.
Dish you would recommend to visiting diners: Eat our shellfish and foraged mushrooms! Geoduck, clams, mussels, oysters, porcinis chanterelles, lobster, mushrooms.
First dish ever made: Kraft Mac 'n' Cheese.
First kitchen job: Busboy/dishwasher at Mimi’s Kitchen in Lakewood.
Dish at Matt's in the Market: For lunch, the porkstrami sandwich made with pork shoulder pastrami. For dinner, grilled octopus and pork belly with daikon and housemade kimchi.
Being in charge is: ENERGIZING
Secret ingredient: Any type of animal fat.
Banned from Matt’s in the Market: Dried fish. The smell is still lingering in my nose from Bhutan.
Guilty pleasure: Any triple-cream cheese and Wheat Thins.
Hangover remedy: Bloody Mary and pho.
Recently splurged on: Plane tickets to Mexico.
On the wish list: A new computer.
Can't live without: Comfortable shoes.
Completely overrated food/dining trend: Reality cooking TV shows
Work outfit: Slacks and a dishwasher shirt
Breakfast dish: Eggs benedict
Lunch spot: Dot’s Delicatessen in Fremont
Cookbook: Cooking by James Peterson
People I'd like to cook with (and why): Giada De Laurentiis – she’s hot.
Music in the kitchen?: Absolutely! Preferably metal or rap.
Craziest Matt’s in the Market story that can be committed to print: What happens in the Market, stays in the Market…