The Postcard Inn Beach Resort & Marina is an iconic Florida Keys getaway, located in the heart of Islamorada, the Sportfishing Capital of the World. Chef Ryan Wisely was recently named Executive Chef after moving over from the Amara Cay Resort. The Chef has over 19 year of experience and is tasked to oversea all the culinary operations at the Resort to include three onsite restaurants; Ciao Hound Italian Kitchen & Bar, the famous Tiki Bar, and the waterfront Raw Bar. Islamorada Times recently sat down with Chef Ryan to meet him up close and personal.
Islamorada Times–Where did you grow up and did your upbringing have any influences on you becoming a chef?
Chef Ryan Wisely— I was born and raised in south Florida and grew up fishing on the water. Growing up surrounded by different types of seafood cuisine definitely played a part in inspiring me to become a chef, making it my goal to create unique coastal flavors and dishes.
IT— At what age did you know you wanted to become a chef?
CRW— I knew I wanted to be a chef at the age of 14.
IT— Tell us about any schooling, on the job training, and the different positions you have had in your career?
CRW— I’ve been working in the food and beverage industry for over 22 years now, and have held just about every back of the house position you could think of. I didn’t have any formal schooling, and instead, learned how to cook by watching and learning from my superiors and working my way up in the ranks of the kitchen staff. I started as a dishwasher, moving up to a line cook, and eventually to sous chef and then to head chef.
IT— What are the things that influence your style of cooking?
CRW— I love really fresh foods and ingredients, and love that in our location we can take the fresh catch right off the boat and straight to the kitchen to be prepped.
IT— What are some of your top ingredients, those that are must haves in your kitchen at all times?
CRW–You will always find bacon, scallops, lobster and garlic in my kitchen.
IT— When you choose to dine out yourself, what types of cuisine do you enjoy?
CRW–My go-to cuisine shifts between Mexican and Italian.
IT— What can we expect to see you cooking at home? Any specialties that we won’t see at your restaurant?
CRW— When I cook at home I tend to make a lot of comfort food. This includes dishes like shepherds pie and chicken pot pie.
IT— What do you consider to be comfort food?
CRW— I consider comfort food to be anything that makes you happy when you eat it. In order for a dish to be considered comfort food it has to make you feel like you’re at home or give you a sense of nostalgia.
IT— What do you like to do in your free time?
CRW— In my free time I like to be on the water, either fishing, snorkeling or spear fishing.
IT— Any final thoughts?
CRW— I love having the opportunity to work and live in the Florida Keys, and I’m excited to oversee three amazing and unique restaurants at Postcard Inn Beach Resort & Marina, where I’ll be able to hone my craft further and provide locals and tourists with fresh and flavorful cuisine.
Visit our archives to see past Chef Interviews.