At age sixteen, Mike Ryan discovered a passion for restaurant work while busting suds behind a Hobart dishwasher. Ultimately he wanted to wield knives instead of suds, and therefore set out to work in a variety of different restaurant settings. He started out in a high production catering operation where he first began to form techniques of speed and organization. He moved on to working in hotel kitchens, a bed and breakfast, and a couple country clubs.
Eventually he learned that working for an independent restaurant with a more soulful cuisine was more what he was looking for. He then began gaining experience at many amazing restaurants with various talented chefs. Mike accepted a position at D'Amico Cucina with soon to be awarded Best New Chef from Food and Wine magazine, Tim McKee. While at Cucina Mike had the opportunity to work with some of the most exquisite foodstuffs on the planet.
From Cucina, Mike moved on to Restaurant Alma. He was able to refine his cooking talents even further while working with James Beard nominated Chef Alex Roberts. Since Restaurant Alma has been at the forefront of supporting local and sustainable farms, Mike was able to cultivate relationships with various farmers and foragers in the area, which galvanized his respect for fresh produce and meats.
In the subsequent years, he has embraced the tendency to use only the best ingredients. This affinity has been fostered in likeminded kitchens such as La Brea Bakery, Intelligent Nutrients, Crema Café, J.P's and Clancey's Meat Market. The culmination of Mike's experiences resulted in the genesis of his own deli concept, where quality ingredients and great technique are essential.