Can we talk about how cool the Universe is? Today's Women In Food interview is with Chef Ryan Ross. Now Ryan came into my Inbox thanks to Sarah who told me I totally needed to connect with this girl. I share an office in DC with Sarah and Sarah happened to grow up with Ryan here in Northern Virginia. Meanwhile, Ryan went on to become a Chef, just won Chopped (like a few weeks ago) and now resides in the Pacific Northwest. And now I get to share her bad-assery with you all because of my awesome studio mate Sarah!
Chef Ryan Ross/ @ChefRyanRoss / Website
Tell us about yourself and your business.
I am a private chef! I cook for all sorts of food centric events and private parties. I have a roaming dinner club called Supper Corps! It is a large format feast in uncommon spaces. We dinner party with about 40 guestsserving around 5ish courses. I hire a rotating staff of friends, cooks, artists and locals to pull these suppers together. It is always fun, new and delicious!
If you could define your food philosophy in one sentence it would be….
Eat real food.
What are your 3 must have foods in your kitchen?
All sorts of nuts and seeds, all sorts of good fats/oils, like grassfed butter, coconut oil, olive oil etc. Yes, and kale. I love lacinato kale. Ugh, such an obvious answer, but hey.
It’s your birthday. What are you eating?
I’m going OUT! So many fabulous restaurants in Seattle, LA and NYC, where I tend to do most of my going-out-to eating. For my 30th I had delicious roasted carrots with harissa and labneh and this incredible zucchini cake, seared in butter then salted and served with crème fraiche. At the Whale wins in Seattle.
They are all my favorite (Best answer so far.-Carlene) Hendricks, Tonic, and cucumber is pretty amazing, but get me into a cocktail bar I am wide open. I love all the infusions, teas, flowers, tonics….anything goes these days and I like it!
Food you can’t like no matter how hard you try?
I just can’t eat a bowl of yoghurt, of any kind. I use yoghurt all the time, but as an ingredient and condiment. You wouldn’t eat a bowl full of mustard or ketchup would you?? I just can’t get on board.
What are your go-to resources for all things food (websites/magazines/groceries etc)?
The Natural Marketplace in Warrenton VA! My mom has owned her organic health food store since I was 4 years old. She has always been cutting edge and years before the trends. I refer to her and her staff often, weekly even. The first blog for recipes I got into was Smitten Kitchen. I love delicious living magazine, I always pop a copy in my bag at the co op.
Food fad you wish would die a horrible death?
Soy everything! I get having a Tofutti cutie every once in a while, but the soy latte with your tofu scramble and a tofurkey sandwich for lunch followed by a soy burger for dinner and a soylicious ice cream sundae…..this can’t be good for you. Stick to the fermented soy products; miso, tempeh and tamari, and keep it organic! Avoid all that GMO hoopla.
Must have kitchen tool:
Vitamix. If I could choose 1 thing to save from a burning building….I swear it is this. I still use my moms first one! I have had it now for, oh god, about 10 years!
What’s the one thing you learned this year that changed the way you think about food?
I have always intellectually understood that eating locally is important. For our health, for our farmers, eating what’s growing in season and near by keeps our body healthy, our soil healthy and leaves a lighter carbon footprint. Being a new transplant to the Pacific Northwest has enabled me to live much closer to this ideal! Being amongst the farmlands and actually seeing, growing and harvesting our fruits and veggies each season makes local and seasonal eating so much more accessible, and exciting! I encourage everyone to grow something, or at least support those who do by joining a csa that’s offered in your hood, it is such an education. Seed to table is where it’s at, and you can’t get any more local than that!
Dietitian Nutritionist. My husband Chris and I create food and beverage photos, videos, stopmotions and recipes. And they're really cool.