Alumni Spotlight: Lisa Ryan, Founder of MakingMeals


January 25, 2018

After graduating from CIL in 2010, Lisa Ryan went back to Australia and created MakingMeals. The organization offers cooking classes in Melbourne that focus on making good, wholesome meals from seasonal, easily available ingredients. Most of the time, Lisa teaches retired men to cook at a community center, something they’re interested but haven’t had time to pursue before.

Name Lisa Ryan
Hometown   Sydney, Australia
Current City   Melbourne, Australia
Course of Study   Sous Chef de Cuisine, Baking & Pastry Level 1
Year of Graduation   2010

“If you’re going to do it, do it right.”

What is your story?

I’m an Australian who was living in Houston, due to my husband’s work.  I came to culinary college at the age of 50, I realized that I wanted to teach others to cook.  I wanted to show others that feeding yourself isn’t hard, it mostly requires a bit of preparation and organization.  I now primarily teach retired men to cook at a community center one, something they’re interested but haven’t had time to pursue before.  I also teach another specialty class.

What inspired you to become a chef?

Knowing the best way to teach others.  I’ve always been interested in food and taking classes, but wanted to go to the next level.

How would you describe the impact of your courses at CIL on your life?

Not only was it the hardest thing I’ve ever done, it was the most rewarding. It gave me a direction to follow when I returned to Australia, which I did less than a month after graduating.

“Taking classes at CIL, not only was the hardest thing I’ve ever done but it was the most rewarding!”

What is the best memory you keep from the school?

I met my best friend on the first day of class.  One day we were making Boeuf Bourguignon and agreed that we wished we come back to school earlier.  I also met some truly amazing chefs who have remained friends and mentors even though we now live in different countries.

What are your next projects? 

To compile the most successful recipes that I’ve taught over the last 3 years and to continue teaching my students.

Any words of wisdom for our current and future students who dream of a success story like yours? 

Listen to your chefs, their experience is invaluable.  Attend all your classes, you can’t learn if you’re not there.

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