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Rachael lives and breathes A Fare Extraordinaire. She landed her dream job at AFE in 2005, and quickly fell in love with the company. She worked her way up from the front desk to the head of the sales department, became co-owner with AFE’s founder Karen Lerner, and eventually sole owner in 2014. Rachael loves being a mom to her two young boys and along with her supportive husband, has gracefully established a work-life balance. She’s competitive, driven, warm, genuine, and fashionable. Rachael is a dreamer but also pragmatic and realistic. She continually drives AFE with her inspiring vision and infectious energy, encouraging a creative, supportive, and seriously fun company culture. A fourth-generation Houstonian, Rachael’s love for her hometown shines through in her service to the community. She is actively involved with Second Servings of Houston and founded the Young Associates Council (YAC) for the Houston Symphony. She has helped raise millions of dollars for local non-profit organizations by chairing the 2014 Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Gala, Dress for Success’s Cuisine for a Cause in 2016, and the 11th Annual What’s Up, Doc? Dinner. Rachael continues to pave the way in catering and events, earning individual and company accolades including the Harvard Business Journal’s 40 Under 40, Fresh Faces of Fashion, The Houston Chronicle “IT” girls, the 2017 ACE Best Event award, and the honoree of Dress for Success’s 2016 Cuisine for a Cause.
Ryan thrives on A Fare Extraordinaire’s encouragement of the creative process of cooking and loves the challenge of presenting classic dishes in a new way. Born into a military family with a Japanese mother and French father, Ryan’s appreciation for cultural and culinary diversity grew throughout his childhood across Europe and the United States. Ryan spent countless hours with his maternal Japanese grandmother and attributes to her his love for culinary creativity. When cooking for his family, he enjoys marrying the flavors and traditions of his Japanese, French, and American roots with those of his wife’s Jewish heritage.
After graduating from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in 2003, Ryan immediately moved to California to begin his career at the prestigious Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel where he trained in the art of traditional French cooking. Seeking to expand his career, Ryan shifted to the Lake Austin Spa and Resort, perfecting clean, healthy, and special dietary cuisine. Again looking to diversify his career, Ryan moved to New Orleans as the Sous Chef at acclaimed Café Adelaide, a Brennan Family Restaurant, and honed his Creole and Southern style cooking. Provided with the opportunity to cook for various palettes and themes, Ryan builds on his diverse culinary experience to explore new flavors, techniques, and presentation ideas.
Ryan’s talents have earned him an invitation to cook at the nationally acclaimed James Beard House and garnered AFE local accolades such as winning the Draughts and Dogs Hot Dog Challenge and the nationally recognized Go Pig or Go Home People’s Choice Award, as well as leading a live cooking demonstration during Super Bowl Live and preparing dinners for the King of Swaziland, Queen of Ethiopia, and Princess of Belgium.