10 September 20  |  Dining   |  

Welcome Chef Brown to WEC Ocala

There’s no denying that World Equestrian Center Ocala becomes more impressive every day. And most recently, we took a giant leap toward its debut by welcoming Executive Chef Ryker Brown to the ever-growing team. An award-winning, West-Coast-renowned and Forbes-rated culinarian, he will set the food and beverage standards for the U.S.’s largest equestrian complex, specifically a five-star hotel restaurant, all concession restaurants and banquet kitchens.

So, who is Chef Brown?

Well, for starters, Chef Brown grew up just outside of Pasadena, California. There, he spent his teenage years working in professional kitchens and developing a passion for the art of cooking. His love of flavors from around the world and food that has an agriculture-based story behind it perfectly complement his culinary degree from the famous Le Cordon Bleu. And it was a mix of those experiences that led him to launch a menu and concept development, private events and task force career in none other than Park City, Utah.

This led to big-name destinations from Waldorf Astoria to Promontory Ranch Club and Sundance Mountain Resort where Chef Brown was one of only four Utah chefs to earn a ‘Best Chef’ title by Best Chefs America. This, coupled with a four-star rating from Forbes Travel Guide, led to other portfolio builders like Hilton Hawaiian Village, Riverside New Orleans and the new Conrad Chicago hotel.

Several years ago, Chef Brown served as Corporate Executive Chef/Director of Research and Development for national Kneaders Bakery & Café. After designing kitchens, developing recipes, opening new outlets and honing in-home catering skills on behalf of the 60-location venue, he went on to Omni Hotels & Resorts in Nashville, Tennessee. Chef Brown oversaw four restaurants, in-room dining, an employee cafeteria, a coffee shop and a large banquet operation for up to 2,000 guests — not to mention, accounting for 75 culinarians and 10 chefs.

His Plans for WEC Ocala

Chef Brown is already letting us in on his plans for WEC Ocala cuisine! Not only will his support for local agriculture come across on menus, but there will be a wide variety of meals fit for a world-class experience. We’re talking street tacos — Tacos Birria, Pollo Rostizado and Pork Carnitas — in Filo’s Fiesta. In Viola & Dots, you’ll find stone-fired pizza and calzones, while there will be burgers, smoked ribs, and Nashville hot chicken grilling at Ralph’s Sandwich Shop. For a multicourse dining experience, head over to the hotel.

Just be sure to make Miss Tilly’s and Emma’s the last stops on your food tour, as Chef Brown promises pastries and fresh fudge that bring the true vision of WEC Ocala on home for everyone who dares to imagine it.

“Just like everything else here, my menus and the way they are carried out will be an experience unlike any our guests have ever seen,” Chef Brown said. “Many of the menu offerings are still under development, but every component will demonstrate a commitment to high-quality hospitality.”

To keep up with Chef Brown’s latest creations and welcome him to the team, visit WEC.net.