Chef Marissa Ryan began her epicurean journey by completing a 6,000-hour apprenticeship program at the Colorado Mountain College in 2002. She then moved to NYC to hone her newfound skills in 2006. In NYC she baked bread at Amy's Bread while the city that never slept, slept, and while she also apprenticed with the affineur at Murray’s Cheese.
A year later she ran the catering program at Murray's, acquiring kitchen build-out and merchandising experience, as well as skills to develop more efficient systems in the work place environment. Seeking a more profound knowledge of food, in particular, its scientific value and nutritional aspects, Marissa then entered the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. Educating herself at the institute enabled her to confidently create menus that are truly fulfilling in taste and aesthetics; but that also use food as a tool to make those who are enjoying it feel better inside and out.
After this hiatus from the kitchens of NYC, she decided to follow her passion for Italian cuisine and found herself at A Voce. Here, she worked under the formidably successful Michelin Star Chef Missy Robbins and Chef Hillary Sterling, and where she fine-tuned her culinary technique. After rising to the rank of sous chef, Marissa decided to move to a more pastoral setting, Hudson, NY.
In Hudson, NY, she assisted the infamously prolific restaurateur Zackary Pelaccio of Fatty Crab in NYC, and Fish in Game in Hudson, NY with farm research, kitchen build-out, and recipe development. From her rural outpost in The Hudson Valley, NY, she has cheffed at several restaurants including Swoon, Miss Lucy’s, Bonfiglio and Bread, and Kite’s Nest (Alimentary Kitchen).
To keep her work as a chef inspiring and fun, and to maintain a sharp nose for experimentation, she also creates popular food items for busy local pubs in Hudson. This wide variety of experience has given Marissa Ryan a unique outlook on food and the restaurant landscape. For her, food is about community, farming, survival, sustainability and love. As many amazing chefs and culinary arts advocates would agree, add flawless technique to this perspective and no meal will ever be the same.
First memory of campfire cookery
it happened in my twenties out in the Rockies in Colorado. I had a hatred of eggs, but when one is camping, you must take what you have. My buddy cooked the best over easy eggs and sausage I had had (at a camp fire). This instilled my love for eggs again, leaving it a memorable experience as well as instilling a love for cooking over an open fire.
Favorite memory around a bonfire
My 30th birthday party in Hudson New York, several artists came together for this fun event. We had a 16 stall horse barn that 16 artists came together to put on a show. A good friend of mine who also builds sculptures out of reclaimed materials, built 3 17’ sculptures out of wood from around the property and we set those on fire as an art piece… the most magical moment of art and fire I have had the privilege of witnessing.
Worst experience in the outdoors
I grew up outside of the Appalachian mountains in Maryland. My family were hunters, I went out with them for the first time when I was 6 years old. When we got to our post, my father saw a mountain lion (who had its site on me) as I was the smallest of the bunch. He said “run as fast as you can home”. Which i did….and that lion followed me through the trees...though, as we know, I am here today.