Chef Ryan Rondeno graduated from Nicholls State University in 2003. Rondeno says that he always knew that culinary was a passion that he wanted to pursue. Rondeno actually changed his major from engineering to culinary but he says that this was one of the best decisions that he has made in his life.
Over the years Rondeno has learned from culinary legends such as Gerard Maras, Anne Kearney, Sue Zemanick and Emeril Lagasse and has held leadership positions in many of their kitchens. Now Rondeno is the owner of Rondeno Culinary Designs in Los Angeles where he caters to many celebrities and has his own spice collection. Rondeno has also been featured in many culinary publications.
Q: What is your favorite project that you have worked on so far?
A: My favorite project has to be pop-up dinners. They allow me to think outside of the box and step out of my comfort zone to create a fantastic dinner.
Q: How do you see your company progressing over the next 5 years?
A: I am looking to start a restaurant, grow the product line, and advance my catering business. We recently launched the Rondeno Spice Collection and a line of chef and motivational t-shirts.
Q: How important do you think that culinary school was to your success?
A: Culinary has been great for my success. It showed me many different avenues in the culinary world and prepared me for a career that requires discipline and consistency.
Q: What did you learn at CJFCI that still impacts you today?
A: I would have to say learning about regional Louisiana cuisine. I’ve been able to mesh it with other cuisines from around the world to create something special for my guests but I always fall back on my foundations of Cajun and Creole cuisine.
Q: What advice would you like to share with young culinarians?
A: Learn from your peers and constantly gain knowledge from your chef.
ROASTED FINGERLING POTATO, CHERRY TOMATO, AND PARMESAN CHEESE
1 lb. Fingerling potatoes
5 tbs. olive oil
2 tbs. butter
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/2 tsp thyme, fresh
1 tbs Rosemary, fresh
2 tbs. of Nola Creole Rub
Juice of 1 lemon
2 Cups cherry tomatoes
1/4-1/2 cup parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a 12 inch saute pan, saute potatoes with 2 tablespoons of olive oil for five minutes on medium heat. Season with Nola Creole
Rub. Once golden brown, roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes.
On medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a 10 inch
saute pan. Add tomatoes. Saute until the skin starts to break.
Season with salt and pepper. Set Aside.
Once potatoes are done. Set aside in a bowl. In the same pan,
add 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. The
pan should be at medium heat. Add the garlic, thyme, and rose-
mary. Cook for 30-45 seconds. Add lemon juice. Fold in tomatoes
Taste and adjust seasoning. Garnish with parmesan cheese.