Chef Ron Eyester

Q & A  with Chef Ron
Why is sourcing local and or organic produce important to you & your restaurant?
Sourcing local and organic food for the restaurant is significant not only because it is a commitment to superior product, but it also allows us to develop relationships within the community that help further manifest the magnitude of the local food movement and positively impacts our local economy.

If you were a farmer what would you raise or grow?
If I were a farmer I would raise chickens

What one seasoning can you not live without ? I don’t really cook with seasonings – I’d say I couldn’t live without Dijon mustard

How do you describe your style of cooking? My style of cooking is seasonal, very approachable,unpretentious and slightly humorous

What celebrity or historical figure would you most want to serve a meal to? Jerry Garcia

What would you eat and drink at your last supper? Hot Dogs, Foie Gras, Doughnuts & Grand Marnier

Where would be your ideal location for your last supper, what music would you listen to and who would join you? Ideal location would be backstage at the Beacon Theater in NYC, listening to the Dead jam.  I would invite everyone who thought I was crazy for becoming a chef and doubted my ambitions to own a restaurant.

Shortly after taking his first restaurant job in his late teens, Ron Eyester developed a “sixth sense” that he was headed for a career in the restaurant business.  Although he was initially captivated by the intoxicating intensity and provocative nature of the restaurant business, he most certainly would have never been able to anticipate the “long strange trip” the restaurant industry has taken him on over the course of the past 13 years.  According to Eyester, the restaurant business is like a sick addiction; once you get in, it’s nearly impossible to get out. Ron was unknowingly exposed to some great food for much of his younger years.  He grew up in New York (enough said) and spent his college years in Charleston, South Carolina while attending The Citadel.  It was while working on his Masters Degree back in New York that Ron experienced an epiphany of sorts and decided that he would pursue a career in the kitchen.  The next six or seven years would be an interesting nomadic lifestyle that would find Ron opening many different doors; some good, some bad, trying to absorb as much as possible and ultimately find the right fit.  Not knowing the exact answer, Ron did know he had to end up in a somewhat sophisticated, cosmopolitan city in order to pursue his ambition in serious fashion.  Atlanta would become that city; and after a few more speed bumps and obstacles Ron would eventually settle in with 101 Concepts as the sous chef of the original Food 101.  It was his many years with them that brought all his experiences “full circle” and prepared him for this next phase of his restaurant career as Executive Chef and Owner of Rosebud.
In speaking with Ron, he will always mention that his unconventional “upbringing” in the industry has indeed been the catalyst that has ultimately propelled him to the level of restaurant owner.  Moreover, his humorous disposition allows him to reveal that not only is he not formally trained; he has probably absorbed more useful lessons from the mistakes that he has seen in past kitchens and from the mistakes he has made.  Regardless of how he has learned his trade, Ron is most thankful for the fact that he discovered his natural ability to pair flavors and his sense of commitment to relentlessly (sometimes recklessly) pursue his passion for cooking.  Although the kitchen is indeed the foundation of this passion, Ron has always been intrigued by the entire restaurant operation and its ever evolving culture.  Ron insists that in continuing to be a student of this industry, the understanding of human nature and effective communication skills are imperative… In fact, the food is the easy part, “if I could hang back in the kitchen all day and just cook, life would certainly be less complicated.  However, it’s only after you get to know your guests that your cooking style can evolve and take a shape that truly reflects your neighborhood.  You have to be willing to get out there, listen, interact and make adjustments.”
In terms of food, Ron’s mantra could not be simpler: “buy local.”  Ron is constantly challenging himself to resource the freshest available products and has built a reputation as being someone who almost always gives something a try.  Moreover, the process isn’t merely buying food, but taking the time to develop relationships that ultimately enrich the very fabric of the restaurant.  Ron likes to think of his cooking as very approachable, yet conveys a sense of depth.  You usually will not find more than three or four different flavors on plate.   Ron has learned to embrace a certain ingredient as the focal point of a dish, and, as he has matured as cook, Ron’s cooking continues to be clean and concise.   Ron actually makes good use of his degree in English, (much to his parents’ delight) with thought provoking interpretations of classic American dishes and witty menus.
When Ron is not in the restaurant (which doesn’t occur too often) you usually find him taking his son Mydland out for breakfast or trying to get some much needed yard work done.  However, more often than not, he’ll usually bypass the yard work in favor of downloading a new Panic show or some obscure album off of iTunes.   Ron also tries to make some time (he should probably try harder) for his wife Pamela, who is a semi-retired pastry chef and an extremely dedicated mom.  Ron, Pamela and their son Mydland live in Kennesaw amongst a ridiculous collection of cookbooks and food magazines.

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