The mountains called, and Chef Ryan answered. We are very happy to announce Executive Chef Ryan Spesock has joined our Champion Hills family. A California native, Ryan was most recently the Executive Chef at Cimarron Hills Golf and Country Club near Austin, Texas. He introduced some of his Texas influence to Champion Hills members with additional menu features and a newly-installed smoker on property. However, his passion remains in using the area’s vast culinary resources to provide exciting experiences for every palate. Chef Ryan sat down with us to share a little about himself and his creative vision.
1. What drew you to Champion Hills?
“The draw was multifaceted. I have family in Greensboro, NC, and Georgia, so after ten years in Texas, I was ready to come back home. Coming to a newly refreshed club that is open to new ideas and events fits perfectly into what I was looking for in a new position. My excitement grew even more during my interview when all of the Members spoke very positively about the facility, staff and about living here. There is a lot to be said when you walk in and see people smiling! I enjoy the amount of potential offered here and hope to take full advantage of it in the coming years.”
2. Do you have any special projects in the works for Champion Hills?
“Living in Texas I learned a lot about smokers, so one of the first new projects you’ll see is a smoker on property. I plan to keep the membership engaged and excited in their culinary choices and experiences, so expect more theme nights, cookouts and other outside the norm opportunities.
In our Wine Room, I plan to do more Chef’s Table dinners. I prefer to keep these events small and intimate so that I can really customize the menu and get to know the members on a more personal level.”
3. When was the first time you realized you wanted to be a Chef?
“When I was 17 years old, I entered a commercial kitchen for the first time and saw the organized chaos that was ensuing around me. I had been interested in cooking since I was a fledgling teen, and observing all the shouting, scrambling, loud, heart-pounding, rapid yet synchronized movements immediately spoke to my competitive side and was screaming “this is it”.”
4. What is your favorite food to eat or cook?
“For anyone with a passion for food, this is a hard question. It’s impossible to limit myself to one thing. My favorite foods range from enchiladas to sushi. I prefer a nice ribeye over a tenderloin any time. My go-to dinner food is a chicken fried steak with black pepper gravy, and if I have a night off with the kids and I’m not cooking (which is rare), I love a fully loaded pan pizza. My guilty pleasure meal is a great Chinese Buffet.”
5. What person inspires you?
“Inspiration comes to me in small, spontaneous spurts. There isn’t one person who inspires me, rather it is a combination of all my mentors and their standards. It gives me something to work towards and compete against.”
6. What is a motto you always strive to follow?
“Taste your food. I tell my cooks that every day. Very little bothers me more than seeing a cook season something and not taste it to check if it is accurate.”
7. What is your favorite season?
“Without a doubt, fall is my favorite season both personally and professionally. It is the perfect season for braised meats, roasted root vegetables, spiced apple cider, and big red wines and all things pumpkin. I am also looking forward to all the colors of the leaves, which was something I have been without for a while.”
Chef Ryan’s passion is unparalleled - come see how he’s elevating the Champion Hills Club Member Dining Experience above the rest.