Ryan Johnston, Executive Chef and Partner of Whisknladle, does not hesitate to get fresh in the kitchen. His unique cooking style and distinctive philosophy bring San Diegans a playful and honest back to basics approach to dining.
At Whisknladle, Johnston's tapas-style menu highlights fresh local produce and ingredients made from scratch to deliver Gourmet Comfort Food infused with Mediterranean influences. Johnston takes satisfaction in creating the constantly evolving seasonal menu and cascades his attention into ensuring all of the ingredients are made in-house from baking bread, curing and aging meats, to churning ice-cream and making pasta. Johnston desires that his food only adds to the pleasures of dining with friends and family.
Born in South Florida, Ryan Johnston, age 32, has been exposed to the world of food since childhood. The son of a butcher, Johnston has always had a passion for fresh ingredients and a flair for finding the finest selections. After being diagnosed with Diabetes, Johnston's commitment to working exclusively with quality, organic produce that he hand picks from local growers became a trademark and focus of his kitchen.
Johnston's culinary talent is a culmination of his more than 10 years of experience and training at some of the finest restaurants in the country. A 1995 graduate of the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, Johnston fast tracked his career at two trend-setting restaurants, Café Chardonnay and Darrel & Oliver's Café Maxx in Florida. In 1998, Johnston moved to Northern California and stepped into the kitchen of famed chef and restaurateur Thomas Keller at the prestigious Bouchon Restaurant in Yountville, CA, where he honed his culinary skills. While at Bouchon, the restaurant was among Gourmet magazine's list of "Top Tables in America 1999."
Johnston has opened and established menus for a repertoire of restaurant, including Loretta Keller's Bizou in San Francisco, Tonno Rosso for the Real Restaurant Group and Blackhorse Grille in Del Mar, CA, for Sami Ladeki. In 2006, Arturo Kassel asked Johnston to oversee the menu development and back-of-the-house operations for Fresh[er] Restaurant in La Jolla, CA. Johnston and Kassel are now partners in Whisknladle.