05 Jan Behind the Brand: Meet the Robert Ryan Culinary Team Leaders
If you’ve attended an event catered by Robert Ryan Catering & Design, you’ve had the opportunity to taste our food and experience the high-quality service provided at all Robert Ryan events. We take pride in presenting a top-notch culinary experience for our customers and ensuring that every bite is delicious.
Who is leading the team behind our culinary creations? We’ve already introduced you to our founder and CEO Bob Ryan, who has been instrumental in developing our company culture to strive toward excellence. Now we’d like to introduce you to our culinary team leaders.
Meet Mark Ryan, Chef/Owner & Danny Salazar, Executive Chef
Mark Ryan is Bob’s son and a 16+-year veteran of the catering business [pictured above, on left]. Mark literally grew up working side-by-side with his father at Robert Ryan Catering & Design. After high school, Mark attended a two-year culinary arts program at Atlantic Cape Community College and cut his teeth working at a variety of restaurants during his chef education. After his graduation, Mark was ready to take over the reins of the kitchen.
Mark believes that one of the keys to Robert Ryan’s success as a catering company lies in the extensive training provided to everyone in the kitchen and the culinary team’s desire to stay on the cutting edge of trends. Mark shares, “At Robert Ryan, while we hold our tried-and-true recipes close to our hearts, we are always on the lookout for what’s new in the world of catering and always strive to educate ourselves.”
One of the biggest lessons that Mark learned from his father is to treat the staff like family. Having a fluid working relationship with all members in the kitchen with open dialogue and, most importantly, support truly brings out the best in each member of the culinary team. Mark believes that the continuing training and support help each member of the team to shine and allow them to rise through the ranks of the kitchen as they learn and get experience. In fact, our current executive chef, Danny Salazar, is a perfect example of this premise.
Danny Salazar came to Robert Ryan via Guatemala [pictured above with Mark, on right]. In fact, just one week after immigrating to the United States, Danny began his career at Robert Ryan as a dishwasher. Now, 10 years later, he is our executive chef and supervises a staff of culinary professionals, too.
Danny explains, “When I came to the United States, Robert Ryan Catering was my very first job. When I started as a dishwasher, I never knew that one day I was going to become the executive chef. I’ve worked under three different chefs in the kitchen and have been able to learn so much from each of them.”
He continues, “I started washing dishes and doing a little food prep. As I continued to learn in the kitchen, I eventually became an event chef, working in many different venues. I was promoted to sous chef and after four years experience in that capacity, I was given the amazing opportunity to become the executive chef. Finally, all my years of hard work has paid off!”
Danny credits his relationships at Robert Ryan with helping him become so successful, especially his relationship with Mark Ryan, who he views not only as a mentor but also as a best friend. Mark served as best man at Danny’s wedding in 2010. Oh, and where did Danny meet his wife? Here at Robert Ryan, where she was a member of the waitstaff and also a supervisor. We truly are one big family at Robert Ryan Catering & Design!
While Mark and Danny lead our culinary team, we couldn’t provide delicious food and impeccable service without the rest of our outstanding staff. From our sous chefs Jose Mauricio (Danny’s uncle!) and Kevin Thompson to our prep chefs, utility staff and waitstaff, Robert Ryan Catering and Design strives to always provide the best for our clients. We can’t wait to help you celebrate your next occasion!
Ready to start planning your party? Schedule a consultation with one of our event managers today!
Robert Ryan Catering and Design plans and executes over 400 events each year, boasts a five-star rating on WeddingWire and has received WeddingWire’s Couple’s Choice/Bride’s Choice Award seven years in row. Learn more about Robert Ryan Catering & Design and tour our venues. Subscribe to our e-newsletter for exclusive offers, up-to-date news and recipes from our executive chef.