10 Questions and a Selfie with Ryan Peters


Ryan Peters is chef/owner of brunoise restaurant inside of Smallman Galley. This Sunday (May 27th) will be his last day there, culminating a year-long run in the incubator space. 

While Ryan has been interviewed multiple times on a variety of platforms, it seemed to me that no one was asking the questions the people really wanted. So, I've gone ahead and done that for you. 

A few words about Ryan Peters: 

1) I saw him in a green shirt the other day, which was a little bit trippy. It may very well have been the only time I've seen him not in a white brunoise shirt

2) Did you know that a "brunoise" is a culinary term meaning 1/8 inch dice? Ryan showed me how to do it one time. I wouldn't call it an easy cut, but I would advise being completely sober for the first try. It's ok, my fingernail grew back. 

3) Ryan Peters is a delightful human being.

Tell me about a weird phase you’ve been through

The Picky Eater Phase. I was an extremely extremely extremely picky eater. My mother was a vegetarian, which influenced that a lot. I grew up not realizing that most people put meat in their lasagna, she would make it with just cheese so she could eat it too. Graduating high school I wouldn’t eat anything — I wouldn’t really eat vegetables, wouldn’t really eat anything, so getting out of that phase was a good thing.

Tell me about the first time you cooked for Caroline

I don’t know if I remember the first time, but probably the most memorable, the one that comes to mind — I made her Pasta Bolognese — fresh pasta, fresh Bolognese sauce, pretty simple, but that’s what I enjoyed cooking at home, so it was the best thing. She enjoyed it. She stuck with me so…

What’s the most terrible thing you’ve made recently?

How serious does this need to be? I didn’t technically make it, but I kinda did, and it was horrible...

A Jimmy Dean Breakfast Sandwich. I heated it up in the oven. I bought it from Gordon Food Services. I bought a case. I’ll give you one, you can have the rest of the case if you want it, they’re horrible. That was my breakfast yesterday morning here, it was horrible.

Why did you buy a whole case?

It sounded really good. I was drinking when I put my order in, and that came up as a featured item, so I bought it.

List five of your childhood favorite foods

1.     Reese’s Puffs.

2.     There was this really really gross — in hindsight now it was really gross, but at the time I thought it was delicious — it was a box mix that you buy, dehydrated shredded potatoes, with some gross gravy mixture, you just buy ham to go with it, it was like a ham and potato casserole. It was disgusting, but I really enjoyed it.

3.     Burgers.

Did your mom make those, or did you eat them out?

She made them! She’s a weird vegetarian, she won’t touch raw meat, so she’d put on these big yellow rubber gloves to mix the meat.

4.     Scrambled eggs

5.     Wawa sandwiches.

Five of your current favorite foods

1.     Scrambled eggs

2.     Steak tartare (which appeared on the brunoise menu several times, including here and here)

3.     A good burger, emphasis on good.

4.     Well-roasted carrots (carrot tattoo here, carrot dishes from brunoise menu here and here)

5.     Chocolate ice cream

If you had to choose a non-food-related career, what would it be?

A teacher. High school math. I’m not good at math, and I don’t really like math, but I was always intrigued — there was a short period where I wanted to be a math teacher, I think it’s because I had a crush on my math teacher.

What were you like in the 90’s?

I was a little child. I wasn’t that old, I was a little picky eater, I was blonde, born blonde, blonde for the first 8 years of my life. I was adorable.

What were you like in high school?

I was a very bad kid. I skipped school a lot. I skipped school for a month straight, then it finally caught up. I was the class clown, the jokester. I was not a good kid at all. I went to vo-tech, and that was the first half of the day, and when the bus would bring us back from vo-tech I would just leave.

If Americans could change one thing about their eating habits, what should it be?

Stop eating so much shit. I think in general Americans eat very unhealthily. People eat out too much, don’t cook enough. People should go to Farmers Markets, they should buy real food, they should cook real food. Or, if they are going to go out to eat, they should do some research and go to places that do the right thing.

It’s two weeks ago. Meghan Markle calls you in desperation. The caterer has died and taken the menu with her. You are their only hope. If you were to prepare a five course plated meal for the royal wedding, what would you serve?

First course is a raw fish course, sashimi or crudo. I think that’s a good start to any meal. Probably some caviar, because they’re royal and they deserve that.

Second course would be a pork terrine

Third course would be some sort of seared white fish, some nice vegetables with something else, maybe.

Fourth course would be Beef Wellington.

Fifth course would be our s’mores dessert.