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Ryan Kikkert

Ryan Kikkert

Jake Melnick's Corner Tap

Growing up in a large family in East Central Wisconsin, Ryan found his true passion working at a country club at the age of 15. It was there that he experienced the sights, smells and excitement of a professional kitchen. While completing a BA in Advertising and Public Relations at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Ryan continued to gain knowledge in all areas of hospitality management. He worked as Banquet Chef for Gracious Events and assisted in the launch of Envoy at the newly restored Ambassador Hotel. 

From planning and organizing large-scale events, developing new recipes and opening new restaurants, Ryan has worked all facets of the restaurant industry. After completing his education, Ryan was hired as Sous Chef for the celebrated Bartolotta Restaurant Group at just 22 years old. While working at several of their restaurants and opening Pier Wisconsin, his interest for food and the service industry blossomed. He was mentored by some of the top chefs in the region, which ultimately led to a career with Levy Restaurants to open the Harley-Davidson Museum campus including Motor Restaurant and an event space for up to 10,000 guests. His creativity and experience with building a brand was a perfect match for creating unique menu items for hungry riders. 

After supporting events such as The Kentucky Derby, NCAA Championships and NASCAR, Ryan’s success with Levy ultimately led him to their Chicago properties. As Executive Chef of Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap, he spices up classic American fare with innovative flavor combinations that pair perfectly with one of the best craft beer programs in the city. Ryan molds his cooking style through inspirations from cultural experiences. He enjoys brushing up on history, both Americana and pop culture, and experiments with how it plays into the regional cooking styles that define “American” food.

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