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10 thoughts: Ryan McCaskey

10 thoughts: Ryan McCaskey

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Ryan McCaskey is the chef/owner of Acadia in Chicago. Last November, less than a year after it opened, Acadia was awarded a Michelin star.

1. One thing you don’t know about me is that I’m also into writing. I’ve started a screenplay, have written poetry, have been a music critic and written for the poetry section in a local Wisconsin newspaper.

2. If I could trade places with one chef it would be Thomas Keller. Not only is he an inspiration to so many, but he also sources the best ingredients without parameters of cost. Having restaurants in Napa and New York would also be great.

3. One of my most memorable meals was at Trio in Chicago. I had eaten there when I was very young, back when it was Café Provencal. To revisit it with newly appointed Chef Grant Achatz, and see a much more contemporary style, was really special. I also took my sister and father out for Father’s Day, and it was the first conversation ever about opening my own restaurant.

4. If there was no pizza, I’d have no reason to live.

5. My go-to drink is whiskey.

6. If I were on death row my last meal would be at Per Se or The French Laundry.

7. My worst culinary creation was sautéed cod with a lemon butter sauce. I was probably in 8th grade and tried to make something I ate at a restaurant. But I had no understanding about how to make a sauce properly. It turned out to be a watery, broken mess.

8. If I could change one thing about me it would be my height. I always wanted to be 5’10”.

9. My favorite junk food is chicken wings.

10. If I was not a restaurant operator, I’d love to be a musician.

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