Executive Chef Ryan Orr was born and raised in Victoria on the southern end of Vancouver Island.
Growing up, Ryan spent his summers on the local beaches with his friends, wading into the lagoons, picking up Dungeness Crabs with fishing nets. Ryan has fond memories of his grandfather coming by the house before the sun came up to take him out fishing, always coming home “a little green around the gills” and with stories of the “big one” that got away. Vancouver Island is, and always will be, home for Ryan.
After graduation, Ryan was overcome with the urge to travel so he ventured off a little closer to come to the resort town of Banff, Alberta. With previous experience in restaurants as a server, he set out looking for a serving job. On his first day of job hunting he was offered a job as a cook, and that marked the end of his serving days. Subsequently, Ryan formally studied culinary arts back on Vancouver Island and then completed his apprenticeship. This would mark the start of his “real learning”. In this, Chef says that “you can’t replace the real world of cooking with in-class study. As important as that is, you have to finish your schooling and get out in the thick of it, start at the bottom and grind yourself through the process. That is where all your training comes into play, and you learn how to take that knowledge and apply it in a high pressure, intense atmosphere. Get cut, burn yourself and make mistakes. This is when you find out what you are made of, and who you will be in the kitchen”.