chef ryan | chef de cuisine
san diego native ryan orlando is a “self-taught” chef who got his start in the kitchen at the age of 16. with no formal training but self-driven by an intense desire to further himself in his chosen craft, ryan decided to leave his hometown of encinitas and depart for new york city in 2003. upon his cross-country move, ryan quickly landed a position in the kitchen of esteemed chef charlie palmer’s flagship restaurant aureole. after his time in new york, ryan decided to move back to the west coast, where he was hired to assist chef jeffrey strauss at del mar’s dining institution, pamplemousse grille, where he met his mentor, tommy dimella.
ryan then made the move north to portland where he became sous chef at the now-shuttered filbert’s café. after gleaning a wide bank of knowledge during his tenure in the pacific northwest, san diego was pulling at him again and he settled back in his hometown. next, ryan traveled to one of the most predominant global culinary hotbeds, copenhagen where he staged at his brother and noma alum matt’s renowned restaurant amass. it was during his experience there that he developed a more holistic understanding about how to bring both local and natural environments directly to the restaurant. that mindset informed ryan in the kitchen upon his return to san diego at del mar country club. after a brief stint at lomas santa fe, ryan ended up in the michelin-recognized campfire kitchen as chef de cuisine.
drawn to the health benefits and global impact of plant-based eating, ryan spent the last several years educating himself on soil health and the overarching techniques behind plant-based cuisine. through industry connections, ryan struck up a friendship with the plot owners, jessica and davin waite. with excitement for the reopening of the plot and a deep connection to the waite’s ethos and thought process surrounding plant-based eating, ryan quickly jumped aboard the dynamic team. as chef de cuisine, ryan is committed to constantly searching for innovative ways to expand, create, learn, and educate the public about plant-based foods. he plays a crucial role in the progressive, collaborative, ever-changing plant-based evolution of north county.