We present to you our culinary team with an exciting vision of exceptional freshness and thoughtfully hand-selected elements with a fine balance of European and West Coast cuisine at Villa Eyrie Resort. These exceptionally talented chefs bring together a unique culmination of distinguished backgrounds and wealth of culinary experience.
Ryan Bissell, Corporate Executive Chef
Ryan Bissell is Corporate Executive Chef at GAIN Group. Ryan is an expert at training and building culinary teams, and producing great food across the entire range, from casual to fine dining. His passion is for service and hospitality. He likes nothing better than to look in a dining room and see people enjoying themselves. Every guest deserves a great experience.
He has an extensive and impressive list of culinary accomplishments and deep experience in a wide range of situations, from fine dining to catering, and almost everything in between.Ulis Restaurant, a White Rock institution, became known for the best burger in Vancouver during his time there as Executive Chef. A brief apprenticeship with master sausage makers in Germany, led Ryan to also open Beast and Brine in White Rock, a locally focused high-end charcuterie shop. He went on to conceptualize and launch the exquisite AMS Student Nest at UBC Vancouver, a 10-restaurant campus hub serving thousands of students and faculty daily. With a foundation in sustainability and a preference for locally sourced ingredients, Ryan has honed his craft to deliver truly exquisite service in a variety of settings. His career also includes being Chef de Partie at the prestigious Araxi in Whistler, and Executive Sous Chef at Bearfoot Bistro. A crown jewel of Ryan’s accomplishments was the 2016 season working with Outer Shores Expeditions, aboard the marvelous schooner Passing Cloud.
Mario Gross, Summit Executive Chef
Mario Gross is Executive Chef of the Summit Restaurant at the Villa Eyrie Resort. Mario completed his culinary apprenticeship at the age of 19, at the one Michelin-star Relais & Chateaux Hotel Dollenberg, in the Black Forest of Germany. He built steadily upon this foundation of excellence, next at Der Alpenhof hotel near Munich. He is fundamental to the restaurant earning its first Michelin star in the first year of its re-opening after an ownership change.
Mario then moved to Berlin, to work within the Hyatt Hotel Group, before moving to the iconic Waldhotel Sonnora, which has held three Michelin stars for 18 consecutive years. Under the mentorship of Chef Helmut Thieltges, Mario learned the invaluable art of tasting, examining and perfecting each and every plate of food. He learned to finely balance flavours, and to strive always for perfection. It was then time to go to the one-star Wine & Tafelhous, in the Mosel, where, after three years, he became Head Chef, all the while maintaining the restaurant’s Michelin status.This is where Mario met his wife to be. She had been living in Edmonton, and they together went there, a big change for Mario. He found a chef position at the famous Hardware Grill, and worked side by side with owner and chef Larry Stewart. The Villa Eyrie beckoned, and now Mario is working each day to apply his skills, passion, tasting prowess and search for perfection to the Summit Restaurant. This is an exciting new path for Mario, and an exciting time to be a guest at the Villa Eyrie Resort and the Summit Restaurant.
Matthias Conradi, Pastry Chef
Matthias Conradi is Pastry Chef at the Villa Eyrie Resort’s Summit Restaurant. As well as baking all the fresh buns and breads at Summit Restaurant, he has perfected a fantastic sourdough rye bread that is a must to try. As a regular part of the Summit’s offerings, it accompanies all the finest handmade desserts and pastries for everyone to enjoy.
Matthias has had thus far a colourful, deep set of experiences, including extensive training, and then Chef Patissier positions in Germany, Abu Dhabi, and Switzerland, before making the bold move to Tofino’s Wikaninnish Inn, at the personal behest of chef extraordinaire Rodney Butters. He operated Patissier Conradi for three years in Tofino, before joining the culinary team at Sooke Harbour House. He remained at this legendary restaurant for several years, learning how to adapt his baking and his desserts to the rigours of a 100-mile diet.One of his favourite things is to deconstruct a dish, and re-assemble it in a completely new way. He often makes elegant, beautiful sketches of his dishes, and he develops them. He often takes the natural bounty around him as a main source of inspiration.