Born in Thunder Bay, ON, Ryan was raised on the good cooking of his mother and learned to appreciate food at a young age. As a child he spent weekends visiting his grandparents cattle farm in Woodstock, ON, and often helped his grandmother pick string beans and ho for carrots in the garden.
Ryan received his HBA from the University of Toronto before attending The Stratford Chefs School, where he met his business partner Carl Heinrich. Upon completing his culinary apprenticeship, Ryan took an apprenticeship with Sebastien Cortes at The Healthy Butcher, where he spent two years learning the craft of whole animal butchery. During this time Ryan met many small livestock farmers from around Ontario, farmers that are passionate about their animals, their soil and the farms they cultivate.
In 2008 Ryan began to combine his culinary training and his background in butchery, working as a butcher and charcutier at a small Ontario bistro called Cowbell. This restaurant bought exclusively whole animal and developed its menu daily from the pantry stock of vegetables and proteins that came in from small farms around the area. In 2010 Ryan joined up with his friend from Stratford, Carl Heinrich, and together they built out a new food program at Marben restaurant, again buying exclusively whole animal and focusing the daily changing menu on the food that was available to them.
2012 Ryan and Carl started their own restaurant, Richmond Station. Here the principles of buying whole animal and of making good, ingredient focused food, from scratch took a new form as they built a bustling downtown restaurant. Richmond Station is the home of West Side Beef, an ecommerce platform that allows urban shoppers access to the same great quality farm raised proteins that are used at Richmond Station.