As executive chef/owner of Port Fonda, Patrick Ryan is at the forefront of the culinary revolution in Kansas City, Missouri. He takes a simple, ingredient-focused approach to regional Mexican food, melding authentic flavors with a farm-driven Midwestern sensibility. Ryan’s passion for Mexican cuisine first developed from his relationship with the people, as he started working in the kitchen at a very young age alongside Mexican cooks. His love of the energy and foodstuffs led him to open the open the first iteration of Port Fonda, an underground restaurant in a vintage Airstream trailer, in summer 2010. He went on to open the brick-and-mortar Port Fonda in summer 2012, seamlessly translating the fast-paced, uncensored street-food mentality to a restaurant environment.
Ryan earned a bachelor’s degree from the Western State College of Colorado, followed by a culinary degree at Le Cordon Bleu’s Western Culinary Institute in Portland, Oregon. He then worked under celebrated chef Rick Bayless at Frontera Grill and Topolobampo in Chicago. A Kansas City native, Ryan returned to his hometown in 2010 to open Port Fonda, where he is not only executing food that no one else in the city is doing, but also preparing the food he is happiest cooking and thus infusing Port Fonda with a singular pulse and infectiously high energy. He was nominated for a Food & Wine The People’s Best New Chef award in 2013 and 2014 and the James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef-Midwest semifinalist in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
Most recently, Ryan was part of opening Submarine Hospitalty’s (Ava Gene’s, Tusk) projects in Portand’s Hoxton Hotel. La Neta, an aggressively seasonal approach to Mexican inspired rooted in the Pacific Northwest and Tope, a rooftop taqueria inspired by the street food of Mexico City. Ryan is currently working on a new project in downtown Kansas City set to open later this year.