The Road Less Travelled

WITH GUEST Ryan Rondeno

Haters are going to hate you. That was Chef Ryan Rondeno’s reply when I asked what comes to mind when he hears the word, naysayers. He doesn’t strike me as the type of person that pays much attention to naysayers.

Like many highly successful people, Ryan is carving out his own path.

Born and raised in New Orleans he started working in restaurant kitchens in his teens. When he graduated from High School he moved on from his food service career and went to college to study Engineering. After one year Ryan decided to give up on engineering and instead to study culinary arts. Since then he has trained with numerous globally-renowned chefs including Emeril Lagasse and Mathais Wolfe. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Chef Rondeno moved to Atlanta where he continued to work for Emeril Lagasse.

In 2008 he made a bold decision and moved to Los Angeles, where he became a private chef for Will Smith and others. Ryan loved working for Will but also felt stifled. He was on a mission to blend the spicy flavours of creole cooking with LA’s healthier eating culture. It turns out that Will’s palette was not as adventurous as Ryan’s.

In July of 2014, Ryan founded Rondeno Culinary Designs. Today his entrepreneurial ventures include pop up restaurants, the Rondeno Spice Collection (Nola Creole Rub, Citrus Herb Rub, and Ancho-Chili BBQ Rub), and a gourmet meal prep service that combines New Orleans cuisine with grass-fed organic meats and locally-grown organic produce.

Ryan’s story is a great reminder that there are so many different ways to create a career that aligns with the things you care about. In this episode, we talk about his journey, the challenges he faced in starting his own business, and his vision for the future. Enjoy.

Tim Alison
Tim Alison
FOR five years in his twenties Tim Alison was living a lie. From the outside looking in, he had it all. A wonderful wife, 2 kids, and a six-figure income. There was just one problem- he was miserable. So he did the logical thing and moved to a tiny fishing village in Nova Scotia, where he started an educational software company. The naysayers came out of the woodwork telling him that he was a complete idiot and that failure was certain. They stopped saying that when his sales topped $10 million. For Tim it was never about the money. It was about living the life he wanted. Tim is the author of Screw the Naysayers...They Suck Anyways (an Amazon best seller) and host of the weekly Screw the Naysayer Podcast. The show is for anyone who is questioning their direction in life (or has a friend or loved one doing so). Each week Tim interviews experts in innovation, entrepreneurship, and education. Together they take on an education system that is failing our kids and provide practical advice for breaking free from a system that has set us up to settle. His life motto? Know the Life You Want and Have the Courage to Live It.




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