Chef Ehren Ryan Helps 5 NJ Teens Reach National Cooking Finals

Featured on NJ Monthly: http://njmonthly.com/articles/eat-drink/five-nj-teens-reach-national-cooking-finals/

Representing their home state, the five culinary students from Passaic County Technical Institute will take on teams from the other 49 in the ProStart Invitational Competition in Dallas.

Practicing at Common Lot in Millburn: New Jersey's winning team of (from left) Frankie Flores (Totowa), Jasmine Garcia (Haledon), Kathleen Ortiz (Hawthorne), Ashley Gulliksen (Haskell) and Katherine Yakovlev (Wayne). Photo: Michele De Vincentis, Passaic County Technical Institute

Practicing at Common Lot in Millburn: New Jersey’s winning team of (from left) Frankie Flores (Totowa), Jasmine Garcia (Haledon), Kathleen Ortiz (Hawthorne), Ashley Gulliksen (Haskell) and Katherine Yakovlev (Wayne). Photo: Michele De Vincentis, Passaic County Technical Institute

With help from chef Ehren Ryan, co-owner of Milburn’s newly-opened Common Lot restaurant, five teens from the School of Culinary Arts at Passaic County Technical Institute are about to compete in the finals of the National Restaurant Association’s 2016 National ProStart Invitational competition in Dallas, Texas.

The contest pits teams from high schools in 50 states.  Team New Jersey is Frankie Flores of Totowa,Jasmine Garcia of Haledon, Kathleen Ortiz of Hawthorne, Ashley Gulliksen of Haskell and Katherine Yakovlev of Wayne. They will compete against more than 300 other finalists for prizes that include full scholarships to post-secondary schools including the Culinary Institute of America.

Team New Jersey (in white) with chef Ehren Ryan (far left) and his Common Lot kitchen team. Photo: Michele De Vincentis, Passaic County Technical Institute

Team New Jersey (in white) with chef Ehren Ryan (far left) and his Common Lot kitchen team. Photo: Michele De Vincentis, Passaic County Technical Institute

Last fall, chef Ryan volunteered to mentor the group while he and his wife were riding out construction delays on Common Lot, the restaurant they were opening together.

With his help and lots of practice, they developed a three-course menu for the rounds of competition that would determine the New Jersey state representative to the ProStart finals.

The menu includes two portions each of a pan-seared scallop and pumpkin appetizer; an entree ofwhole roasted quail with faro risotto and Swiss chard; and a chocolate-peanut butter-caramelized banana torte, served with vanilla crème anglaise sauce.

The hitch is that everything must be made at top speed using the absolute simplest tools and equipment.

Chef Ehren Ryan watching Frankie Flores plate a dish. Photo: Michele De Vincentis, Passaic County Technical Institute

Chef Ehren Ryan watching Frankie Flores plate a dish. Photo: Michele De Vincentis, Passaic County Technical Institute

“What they produce in one hour is phenomenal,” says Ryan. “There’s basically no electricity. The kids have two gas burners to cook off of, and that’s it.”

Recommended Reading:   Taste of Tuscany Dinner at James Beard House

Ryan’s own staff has called the conditions “barbaric.”

Nevertheless, back in January the group weathered the rigorous statewide competition, advancing to take their menu to Dallas on April 29th.

To help keep them focused, Ryan recently staged a mock contest at Common Lot, pitting his kitchen crew against the kids. In order to level the playing field, he handicapped his professionals with a mystery box of ingredients and no extra planning time.

At the state level, Ryan had seen many competitors get distracted by what other teams were doing,

“This pressure test,” he says, “was all about focusing and drowning out the exterior sounds and just doing your job as you would in a normal kitchen.”

The kids finished before the pros even got their dishes plated.

“They seem to thrive on pressure,” Ryan says.

“I’ve always wanted to give back and mentor kids,” says the chef. “There’s such a shortage of good chefs in the world. We have to inspire the next generation.”

the mind of a chef ehren ryan

Jersey Bites Buzz Features Common Lot’s Opening

Original article: http://www.jerseybites.com/2016/04/jersey-bites-buzz-4/

“Officially opened on March 29 by Australian-born chef/owner Ehren Ryan and his wife, Nadine, Ryan describes the locally and seasonally-inspired menu at Common Lot as “modern American with global influences.” Among the Millburn NJ restaurants signature appetizers are salmon sashimi with a pickled daikon and ponzu dressing and slow-cooked duck egg with duck prosciutto and spaetzle infused with hazelnuts. Popular spring entrées include butter-poached halibut with peas, morels, and fava beans as well as duck ragout with house-made gnocchi and beer-infused tomato sauce. At the quaint 64-seat eatery, “we have a rustic casual décor in gray shades with a lot of metal and reclaimed wood,” said Ryan, who hopes to appeal to a local clientele that’s used to traveling to New York City to enjoy this level of dining. “We offer fine dining without pretention and a fun, relaxed, yet elegant dining experience,” he said.”

Chef Ehren and Nadine Ryan Opening Common Lot in Millburn

Article Featured in NJ Monthly

This casual, fine-dining BYO restaurant takes the open-kitchen concept to a new level, providing views of the action from inside as well as out.
By Rosie Saferstein | March 28, 2016

rosie1-3One of the most anticipated restaurant openings this year is Common Lot, at 27 Main Street, Millburn (973-467-0494), which will be opening tomorrow, March 29, by Australian-born chef Ehren Ryan and his Austrian wife, Nadine.

This casual, fine-dining BYO restaurant takes the open-kitchen concept to a new level, providing views of the action from inside as well as out—the latter through large plate-glass, street-level windows.

Menu highlights include small plates of egg and crisps in a bag; roasted heirloom carrots with honey, cumin, yogurt and pumpkin seeds; salmon sashimi, pickled kohlrabi, crispy garlic and lime and chili dressing; and hasselback potato cooked in lamb fat with burrata and onion marmalade. Big plates include roasted bass fillet with cauliflower purée, Puy lentils, Madeira and truffle sauce; braised duck leg ragu with house-made gnocchi and preserved lemon ricotta; in house dry-aged rib eye with Brussels sprouts, chunky potato chips and mushroom ketchup and 12-hour braised lamb shoulder ‘san choy bow’ style, with iceberg lettuce, cashews, brown rice and soy caramel (for two).

Chef Ryan’s life and career has taken him from his native Australia to India, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Canada, the Channel Islands, Austria, England and now the U.S. The Common Lot menu reflects these global influences while sourcing the freshest ingredients available from nearby purveyors like Urbana Greens, Mosefund Farm and No. Six Depot Roastery and Cafe. His wife, Nadine, a cheese sommelier and expert in the art of tea-making, is a restaurant manager, who studied front-of-house restaurant management at the Hotel Management School in her native Austria.

Common Lot will seat 34 on the main level w/an additional 28 in the upstairs dining room. The restaurant will initially open for dinner Tuesday-Saturday. The Kitchen Pass is an exclusive four-seat counter directly overlooking the kitchen similar to a Chef’s table, where the diner purchases the seat for the evening and is served dishes of the chef’s choosing.

The Ryans worked closely with Short Hills design collective Studio 1200 on renovating the property to better represent town history. For example, the brick exterior was chosen to reflect the mills that are the origin of the town’s name, while blending in with nearby landmark buildings from the early-20th century.

the mind of a chef ehren ryan

The Mind of a Chef: A Conversation with Chef Ehren Ryan

The Mind of a Chef: A Conversation with Chef Ehren Ryan of Millburn’s Common Lot Restaurant

By JONATHAN SYM
March 13, 2016 at 10:33 PM

MILLBURN, NJ – Opening a new restaurant is no simple task, particularly if it intends to cater to an educated fine dining audience. Though the competition for diners’ dollars in “the biz” is tough everywhere, it’s particularly risky for the fine dining establishment as the relative investment in construction, equipment, staff and ingredients is much higher than opening, say, a similarly sized diner…

Read the full article here: The Mind of a Chef

Bryan Gregg and Ehren Ryan Chefs Collaboration Dinner

Chef Bryan Gregg is being joined by Chef Ehren Ryan of Common Lot, opening in February 2016 in Millburn, for a collaboration dinner being held at Escape on Wednesday January 13, 2016 at 7PM.

1st Course

Hirame / puffed rye / smoked apple – Chef Gregg

2nd Course

Celery root / chicken skin / pickled celery – Chef Ehren

3rd Course

Hapuka / sunchoke / mustard seeds / fish jus – Chef Ehren

4th Course

Venison / ash cooked beets / buttermilk bleu – Chef Gregg

5th Course

Sorghum spiced financier / malted vanilla ice cream / oat streusel crumbs – Chefs collaboration

The cost of the dinner is $59 per person plus tax and gratuity and is BYO to allow guests to bring special bottles. Wine Legend is able to make wine recommendations to complement the food, please call Wine Legend at (973) 992-4441 and reference the Escape Gregg/Ryan dinner.

Seating for this event is very limited.

Note that we have a strict 48-hour cancellation policy for this dinner. If a reservation is cancelled within 48 hours of the dinner or guests don’t attend, the full cost of the event will be charged.

WHEN: Wednesday, January 13, 2016 from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM (EST)
WHERE: Escape – 345 Bloomfield Avenue Montclair, NJ 07042
GET TICKETS: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/bryan-gregg-and-ehren-ryan-chefs-collaboration-dinner-tickets-20088728929

Cooking District | Ehren Ryan’s Turkey Ramen Recipe

This Turkey Ramen is another smart and satisfying use for Thanksgiving leftovers. It comes to us from Common Lot in Millburn, NJ, a new globally inspired but locally focused restaurant from husband/wife duo Ehren and Nadine Ryan launching in early 2016.
Turkey Ramen
Common Lot, Millburn, NJ

Turkey Broth (Master Stock)

Ingredients
· 1 turkey carcass
· 8 cups chicken stock
· 2 pods star anise
· 1 whole orange peel
· 2 cloves
· ½ bunch cilantro stalks
· 3.5 ounces shitake mushrooms
· 1 tsp. peppercorns
· 1/2 cup soy sauce
· 1/2 cup dry white wine
· 1/3 oz. sliced ginger

Pre-heat oven to 380F. Place leftover turkey carcass (picked of all its meat) into oven and roast till golden brown.
Place roasted carcass in a large heavy base pot and add all remaining ingredients. Bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer for 30 minutes to infuse broth. Cool in pot for about 30 minutes. Strain broth using sieve and discard the solids. This master stock may be kept in freezer for months. If running low, top up with fresh chicken stock and fresh herbs and spices. This stock gets better with age. The flavors intensify after each use. Can be used for poached chicken, braised pork belly and others. Just bring to boil before each use and remember to top up so you can use it again.

To make Ramen, you’ll need:

Leftover Turkey Meat
· Leftover Sweet Potatoes
· Kale (or another leafy green)
· Ramen noodles or two-minute noodles
· Sesame
· Cilantro leaves

Bring turkey broth to a boil. Place noodles, turkey meat, sweet potato and kale into four bowls and pour boiling turkey broth over all. Allow to sit for 2 to 3 minutes or until noodles are cooked. Finish with sesame and cilantro. (You can also add fresh Nori sheets and fresh chili to the garnish if you’d like.)

 

CookingDistrict.com

6 ideas for Thanksgiving leftovers

Common Lot may not be opening in Millburn until early next year, but the team is jumping into the what-do-with-leftovers conversation by suggesting turkey ramen — a simple, comforting dish featuring poached turkey breast, sweet potatoes, broccoli rabe, sesame and noodles.

Originally posted on NJ.com

reservations at common lot millburn nj

New eats: 4 restaurants set to open in Essex County

The eatery is currently under construction on Main Street in Millburn. According to a Village Green report, Australian chef Ehren Ryan plans to serve unique dishes and an interesting atmosphere that includes an upstairs library of the chef’s cookbook collection, and a “chef’s table” with an up-close-and-personal look at the culinary team at work, the report said.

It is slated to open either late this year or early 2016, it said.

Original Story published here: http://www.nj.com/essex/index.ssf/2015/09/4_new_restaurants_coming_to_essex_county.html

Chef Ehren Ryan looks forward to opening his new restaurant Common Lot in Millburn.

Common Lot Will Serve Up Unique Dining Experience in Millburn

Australian chef Ehren Ryan is thrilled to see two years of plans and dreams come to life before his eyes on the corner of Main and Essex streets in downtown Millburn.

After spending more than a decade cooking in kitchens around the world, the innovative chef has put down roots in Chatham and anticipates his new casual yet upscale restaurant, Common Lot, opening its doors (and breaking out the liquid nitrogen) in late winter or early 2016.

So, just how does a chef from Sydney come to hang up his toque in Essex County? Ryan’s parents live in the area, and while visiting them over the years, he says he came to view Millburn as the perfect spot to establish his restaurant.

Read the full article in The Village Green NJ

Australian chef prepares to bring experience and passion to Millburn

Temperature and pressure dictate much of chef Ehren Ryan’s life.

He does his best to manipulate the two when he’s on the clock, but says there have been times when they’ve conspired against him, nearly throwing him from his career path.

Chef Ehren Ryan is preparing to open his first restaurant, Common Lot, a contemporary eatery expected to open this winter, at 27 Main St.

Ryan, 30, will be the executive chef of Common Lot, a contemporary eatery coming to Millburn this winter, and says there’s only one agent powerful enough to overcome the laws of science, as well as the explosive chefs and high stress situations that could’ve forced him from the kitchen.

And that’s passion.

“You have to have passion to cook,” said Ryan, originally of Sydney, Australia, who spent the past 12 years venturing around the world. He settled in Chatham last May, just in time to watch the construction of his restaurant.

“You have to enjoy the hours, enjoy the heat and enjoy the stress,” he added. “If you don’t have certain standards, (being a chef) is not for you.”

Read the full article at NorthJersey.com