Born and raised in Northern California, Ryan attended the School of Culinary Arts at SRJC in Sonoma County, then went on to continue his education working a season at Mugaritz in Errenteria, Spain (Number 3 on the top 50 restaurants in the world/2 Michelin Star), where he learned an appreciation for vegetable driven cuisine, both cultivated and from the wild.
Upon returning to SF in 2006, Ryan worked as sous chef at Mecca SF, under Randy Lewis, whom he had worked for previously at his restaurants in Santa Rose (while at Mecca they received a 3 star review from Michael Bauer). He left to accept a job in Sonoma County working with Jackson Family Wines, learning and investigating the relationship between food and wine, while working with world class wines and a 4-acre organic garden at the kitchens fingertips, again falling in love with agriculture, this time here in the Bay Area.
In 2010, Ryan returned to SF to join the growing Il Cane Rosso group as sous chef working under Lauren Kiino. In October 2011, Ryan took a vacation tour of Northern Italy, which inspired his commitment to simplicity and seasonality. Ryan joined the Ne Timeas Restaurant Group team in March 2012. He recently opened Aatxe (aah-CHAY), bringing the lively dining culture & spirit of the basque country to Upper Market neighborhood.
When not perfecting his craft, Chef Ryan Pollnow can be found concocting all manner of delicious fresh pressed juices for Central Kitchen's juice program.