Meet Ryan, the General Manager of Cilantro on 17th Avenue. He’s been at Cilantro for nearly two years and we think it’s about time we got to know a little bit more about him and why he loves working with us!
How did you first learn about Cilantro and what drew you to working here?
Well, I was previously working at a restaurant called Farm, and when they closed down I received numerous offers for Management positions around Calgary. I had been to Cilantro a few times and always had a great experience here. For me, it was important to remain in the upscale dining industry and Cilantro was a great fit for that. Another priority was hearing the word around Calgary that CRMR was one of the best companies to work for in the city. After my first interview I knew I wanted this job and I’ve been very happy working here ever since. I really enjoy coming into work each and every day, the people I have the pleasure of working with and the family atmosphere here is unique.
Is it true you have one of the largest wine menus on 17th Ave?
That is correct, yes! I would have to say it’s actually one of the biggest Wine Menus in the City. We’ve won numerous Wine Awards over the years for it! We’re lucky enough to have an excellent Sommelier, Brad Royale, and he’s brought some of the best wines from around the world to Cilantro. We have a great selection of old world and new world, anything you could think of for that matter! Everything on the menu is designed to pair well with the food we serve here at Cilantro.
What’s your favorite dish on the menu and what would you recommend pairing it with?
That’s a tough question, how do you choose just one dish? Every day I come in it’s hard not to start craving pasta, pizza or one of our entrees! That being said, my biggest recommendation would definitely be the Rack of Lamb – it’s fantastic. The wine pairing for it would be a light red, I would probably recommend the Pinot or the Nebbiolo that’s on our menu right now!
What’s the best thing about the staff that work at Cilantro?
Honestly, this is the best group of people I have ever worked with. It’s a very fun environment, everybody who comes into work wants to be here. I’ve never had any of my staff call in sick… and that’s just one of those things that’s unheard of in this industry. We’re basically family here, and we’ve had staff stay here for over 20 years both in the front and back of house. In fact, most of my staff have been here longer than I have!
What is your favorite thing to do on your day off?
My favorite thing to do is to get out of the city and to the mountains! I think it’s awesome that we live so close to them. In the summer I enjoy hiking and biking, in the winter snowboarding and skating.
What excites you about the future of Cilantro?
Well, I’m excited about the new renovations that will be completed in February, as well as putting more focus on our CRMR game ranch and farm to table menu. Cilantro is one of the only restaurants that can honestly say it’s able to control the food process from start to finish. We make all of our pastas and pizzas from scratch and there will be more emphasis on that. So yes, putting more focus on our Farm to Table process, as well as incorporating a more Canadiana focused menu which I think is very exciting. I think a lot of people here in Calgary don’t know about it, and I think a lot of people will be excited about it.
What three words will best describe Cilantro after the 2018 renovations?
I’m going to say – Rustic, cozy and classic.
To learn more about the exciting changes to Cilantro, click here.