Alumni Feature: Ryan Brown, 2019 International Chef in Residence (Class of 2006)

January 9, 2019

I was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec in a family that celebrated food on a daily basis. I was always fortunate enough to have one of my parents at home with me growing up, so I made impromptu lunches and dinners from scratch with Dad or baked cheesecakes or cupcakes with Mom. Cooking was always a job, but never entered my mind as a career opportunity until I discovered the Stratford Chefs School, where I graduated before my 20th birthday. Since then I have had great experiences working, volunteering and traveling around the world. I’ve made cheese and cider in Normandy, herded goats in Portugal, ran my own bistro in Paris, staged at the Mirazur**, opened London, UK’s most visited restaurant, and now help oversee the restaurants of one of the world’s most exclusive private members clubs.

What is your favourite restaurant?

Tickets, Barcelona. The perfect combination of technique in an experience that’s full of fun and emotion.


What is your favourite cookbook?

The French Laundry, Thomas Keller.


What is your guilty pleasure food?

Cinnamon Rolls.


What food did you think was over-rated until you tried it?

Fine Dining. Full Stop. It was tough to imagine how much pleasure a well-constructed tasting menu could bring for the price, but when service, food, atmosphere and company all align in the perfect balance it’s effect is pretty extraordinary.


Favourite knife or kitchen tool?

Mini offset palette knife.


What restaurant dish seemed the most intimidating, but is actually really easy to make?

Fresh Pasta. It’s one of those things that you imagine is impossible before you spend any time in a kitchen; but to be fair, I don’t think anything can be too “easy” to make, it all depends on how far you break down the elements and technique to try and create your “best” interpretation.


Favourite ingredient you can’t get enough of right now?

Yuzu koshu. It’s that exciting kick that’s always there when you need it.


What is a new technique/flavour you are experimenting with currently?

A lot of Latin American and Asian flavours. I recently launched a new concept in our Night Club that is a small plates, sharing concept using these influences. I completely threw myself into something I knew little about, but that’s all part of the fun, right?


Are there any recipes from SCS you still use?

Vegetable Bayaldi. I hope it’s still in the curriculum! (Ed: yes it is! See our Recipe of the Month)


What is your best SCS memory?

It’s difficult to choose just one because my time at the SCS was brilliant. The family you develop between your colleagues is amazing, and pushing yourself in so many different directions at once really helps to prepare you for life as a chef in the industry. I have great memories tasting the day’s dishes all together in practical classes, and those late nights up until the wee hours working on reports or restaurant design presentations.

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