Houston Alum Ryan Lachaine Attracts Culinary Acclaim
Nationally recognized chef Ryan Lachaine, a 2009 AAS Culinary Arts alumni of The Art Institute of Houston, has already built quite a reputation for himself in the culinary scene, with mentions in Esquire, Food & Wine, Zagat, Business Insider, and Tasting Table, to name a few. With the 2017 opening of Lachaine’s new restaurant, Riel, the attention and praise is continuing to pile up.
Originally from the colder Canadian climate of Winnipeg, Lachaine moved to Houston in 2001. At first, Lachaine enrolled in business school, but something didn’t feel right. After a few semesters, he left to pursue his true passion—cooking, something he’d greatly enjoyed as a child learning from his Ukrainian grandmother and mother.
After graduating with his Culinary Arts degree from Ai Houston, Lachaine worked at several popular and innovative Houston restaurants including Gravitas, Stella Sola, and Reef. Lachaine then spent a year studying techniques from some of the top US restaurants and chefs, spending time in Charleston, South Carolina; New Orleans; San Francisco; and Los Angeles. He also visited Hong Kong and Vietnam.
After returning to Houston, Lachaine took a position at Underbelly and was featured among 15 of the country’s most distinguished young industry professionals in Eater’s Young Guns Class of 2013. By 2016, Lachaine was ready to start his own venture, and stepped away from the kitchen for year to search the US and Canada for culinary inspiration and to plan his new restaurant, Riel.
Named after Louis Riel, the founder of Manitoba, Riel draws on Lachaine’s French-Canadian heritage as well as his other culinary influences—from Southern techniques he’s learned throughout his travels, to his Ukrainian family recipes and the delicious, filling comfort food he’d grown up with. Now eight months after launch, Riel has become a can’t miss destination in the Houston culinary scene. Read more about Riel in the recent review published in Texas Monthly.
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