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The New Columbus Chefs – Ryan Mihely

Walker Evans Walker Evans
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This week, Columbus Underground is taking a look at some of the amazing young talent in the kitchens of your favorite local restaurants.

Ryan Mihely is a Cleveland transplant who decided a few years ago to make the switch to a career in the culinary arts. A graduate of the American Culinary Federation program at Columbus State, Ryan has been honing his skills in the kitchen at Basi Italia for the past three years. “I’ve done some crazy things in my life, and I think that choosing a career in the restaurant business was one of the best things I’ve ever done,” said Ryan. “My only regret is that I wish I would have made the change to a cooking career sooner.”

: Ryan Mihely
Age: 34
Training Experience: Columbus State Community College ACF Program
Kitchen Experience: Basi-Italia for 3 years
Current Job: Lunch Manager and Evening Chef at Basi-Italia

Favorite cuisine: “I love the simplistic approach to Italian food. I have a very Italian family that has taught me a lot about cooking and eating… mostly eating! Italian food is a lot like baseball. An All Star pitcher with a great fastball just says ‘Here it is, try to hit it’. So does Italian food. The style does not get caught up in fluff, just really great ingredients and a little technique for a great meal.”

Favorite dish to make: “Risotto of any kind, but especially shrimp.”

Favorite dish to eat: “I love perfectly cooked pasta and even more so when it is ravioli. I can’t think of a better food than great ravioli that is bursting with flavor and the nice tooth of the pasta.”

Least favorite food: “I remember the taste and smell of liver in my mother’s kitchen growing up. I did not like it then, and I still can’t make myself like it to this day. Sorry, mom!”

Favorite kitchen tool: “A power drill with a 3/8 inch bit is great for cutting holes in figs to stuff! My favorite everyday kitchen tool would have to be the large tilt skillet, I haven’t found a job yet that can not be done in it.”

Favorite cookbook: “Bugialli on Pasta. Every dish in the book is simple, to the point and exactly what I want to eat for dinner.”

Favorite Columbus Restaurant: “Hyde Park. The Steak Kosar is awesome!”

Your Inspirational Figures: “My college roommate Seth, my wife Erica and my two year old son Joshua. While at Wittenberg University studying for my first career, Seth was my motivator through the good and the bad, lots of bad but he never let me quit. My wife continues to be inspirational encouraging me with this crazy change from social work to cooking and my son who tells me ‘Yum, Daddy!’ after everything that I make.”

Your dream job: “I would some day love to be the personal chef to the Cleveland Indians. What better way to spend a day than to do the work that you love and then watch a baseball game!”

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The Urban Living Tour returns (with strict safety guidelines) on Aug 30!