Chef Ryan Scott, who has received critical acclaim for his California Mediterranean dishes, is known for creating amazing food and for infusing his events with great energy and fun. He believes in letting the seasons speak for themselves, and draws inspiration from produce picked at its peak of vitality. Besides being the Executive Chef at San Francisco's Mission Beach Café and offering his services as a caterer and instructor, Ryan donates many hours of his expertise to charitable organizations in the Bay Area. He is a catalyst for amazing culinary experiences and he gives generously from a place that is truly joyous and abundant.
Ryan expressed his desire to be a chef at the early age of nine when the “toys” at the top of his Christmas list included kitchen utensils, a wok and food dehydrator. Growing up in Modesto, California, he developed a passion for the culinary arts and, at the same time, shaped his well-honed competitive side as a star player on the Los Banos High School varsity basketball team. Seeking to be the best at any early age, he entered the prestigious California Culinary Academy (CCA) in San Francisco in 1999. Ryan’s professional career began with a one-year internship at the acclaimed Bistro Roxy in Reno, Nevada. In 2001 the enchantment of Hawaii and its array of opportunity compelled him to move out of the landlocked Central Valley to the island of Maui, where he dove head-first into Polynesian cuisine and took full advantage of his surroundings, eventually working with two of Hawaii’s finest chefs, Peter Merriman at Merriman’s Bamboo Bistro and a brief and formative stage with Alan Wong.
Following his dream to learn from the legendary Gary Danko, owner and executive chef of the celebrated Restaurant Gary Danko in San Francisco, Ryan continued his education with the CCA and became an intern in Chef Danko’s kitchen in 2002. Soon after achieving his accreditations and continuing as a part-time instructor at CCA, Ryan realized his dream and worked as a line cook at Gary Danko for three years. This experience gave him the often sought-after Five-Star culinary protocols and fueled his creative spirit, bestowing him with structure and culinary spontaneity.
Returning to the Central Valley in California, a place close to his heart and childhood home, Ryan accepted a position in Fresno as Consulting Chef for David Milutonvich, owner of the Manhattan Restaurant, during its reopening in 2005. Eventually the siren song of New York’s culinary scene and his goal to work with the country’s best chefs were too compelling to ignore, and Ryan moved to Manhattan itself. There he embarked on an ambitious and very successful adventure that took him up and down the East Coast and across the country on Greyhound buses, hitchhiking and staying with friends while staging in the country’s best restaurants with their acclaimed chefs. In New York he served for several months under the mentorship of Daniel Boulud, the award-winning chef, author and restaurateur; in Chicago he worked in the kitchen with Charlie Trotter at Trotter’s, as well as Tru, Blackbird and Avec; at Jasper White’s Lobster Shack, Radius, and Cleo in Boston; at Primo with Melissa Kelly in Rockland, Maine; with Chef Bob Kinkead at Kinkead’s in Washington, D.C; with Suzanne Goin at Luques and A.O.C in Los Angeles; and at the restaurant Alex with chef Alessandro Stratta at the Wynn Las Vegas. This whirlwind escapade covered thirty-three restaurants on the East Coast and mid-America, cementing Ryan’s talents, skills and vision as a chef.
In late 2005 Ryan moved back to San Francisco to become the Chef and Manager of Myth Café, which was instantly deemed a “hot” dining spot by the surrounding neighborhood’s media, advertising, and marketing elite. The Café was recognized as the city’s number one dining destination by San Francisco magazine (2006). In spring 2008 Ryan competed as one of 16 chefs on Bravo’s top reality show, Top Chef: Chicago. Ryan joined Mission Beach Café in June 2008, a perfect showcase for his New American cuisine.
This fall marks Ryan's 2nd annual "Thanksgiving Bag Lunch Giveaway," where he and a team of volunteers will create, from scratch, 1,500 bag lunches for people in need. Besides this event of his own creation, Ryan devotes time and cuisine to many local charities, including Meals on wheels in San Francisco, Inc., Make-A-Wish Foundation, the American Heart Association, Share Our Strength, and the Guardsman Association.