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Ryan O'Donnell - Executive Chef Windsor Hospitality, Mercer Kitchen + Beer Hall + Hotel, The Prune, York Street Kitchen, Bar 151
Posted under Stratford's #nextgen Chefs on Apr 30, 2019
Meet Ryan O’Donnell, Executive Chef at Windsor Hospitality – Mercer Kitchen + Beer Hall + Hotel, The Prune, York Street Kitchen and Bar 151. Ryan grew up in St. Thomas, Ontario where he was inspired by both of his Grandmothers to pursue his culinary career. Ryan explains how the culinary landscape of Stratford and area has influenced his cooking. “I came to Stratford to attend the Stratford Chefs School thinking it would be a brief 2 year stopover in my life. That was 12 years ago!“ The dish that Ryan is most proud of creating is the Smoked Mcintosh Farms Summer Sausage & Vegetable Pancake on Mercer’s menu, as it is “a perfect blend of great local products, our regions culinary heritage and the Japanese influences.”
- Where did you grow up?
- St. Thomas ON
- What or whom inspired you to pursue a culinary career?
- My Grandmothers! Both were fantastic cooks in their own way; one savoury and one sweet!
- How has the culinary landscape of Stratford and area influenced your cooking?
- I came to Stratford to attend the Stratford Chefs School thinking it would be a brief two-year stopover in my life. That was twelve years ago! Stratford’s wealth of great restaurants, producers and culinary talent to learn from and work with has kept me here what looks like for good. The farm to table ideals espoused by SCS and the world class products grown in and around the city have become the central influence in my cooking style. Taking great products and making them into something interesting, accessible and exciting to the local market is what I focus on daily.
- What dish are you most proud of creating?
- That is a tough question. Not only is creating a dish a collaboration with the other members of my teams and the producers who provided us with the great ingredients but once you have it in front of you there is always the drive to improve it. If pressed, I would say the Smoked Mcintosh Farms Summer Sausage & Vegetable Pancake on Mercer’s menu is a perfect blend of great local products, our regions culinary heritage and the Japanese influences that I love to play with in my menus. It’s a hidden gem on Mercer’s extensive menu.
- What celebrity would you like to dine with and why?
- I am a lover of movies and cinema so perhaps some of the great directors who have created the movies I love like Stanley Kubrick, Stephen Spielberg, Quentin Tarantino, John Huston or Orson Wells. That would be an intense dinner party!
TOPICS: #NEXTGEN, NEXTGENCHEFS, CULINARY, STRATFORDCULINARYGUIDE, STRATFORD, FOOD, STRATFORDCHEFSSCHOOL