Who are we, anyway?

At RYE, we believe food should be approachable yet challenging. Something that pushes the senses and comforts the soul. Founded on the conviction that our most valued social experiences are created around food — RYE believes food exudes an energy that is, at times, indescribable. We believe that local and regional food simply tastes better. Capitalizing on the unrivaled products of our local farms, RYE focuses on using sustainable, seasonal, unadulterated ingredients… Allowing us to provide you with a fresher, cleaner, more flavorful cuisine. Beyond what we believe — You can trust that we are focused on being the very best at what we do.

MICHAEL TRAGER-KUSMAN

Entrepreneur & CEO – MTK PRODUCTIONS

In search of his passion, Michael left his job at the Dept of Treasury to move to New York and wash dishes. From starting as an unpaid pizza delivery boy he climbed his way up to become a line cook at one of New York’s most premier gastropubs, The Breslin, Michael had gotten the crash course needed to pursue his dream of starting a restaurant in his hometown of Louisville, KY. Michael’s drive to never settle for second best – and his constant pursuit of what’s next – influences everything we do. In his off-time…just kidding. @michaelkusman

Tyler

William Tyler Morris

EXECUTIVE CHEF MTK PRODUCTIONS

Tyler has honed his skills in the kitchens of some of this country’s most admired chefs. From April Bloomfield’s The Breslin to Tom Colicchio’s Craft, his professional career has largely been influenced by Italian cuisine, while his roots in California and New Mexico steer him towards Spanish flavors. Tyler’s passion and talent – along with his ability to be awake for 22 hours a day – has established an uncompromising attitude towards food that always pushes the limits, and can be seen in all that we do. When Tyler is not working, he specializes in story-telling, conspiracy theory and parkour. @tylermorris79

Joe

ERIN MACDONAOLD

PR & EVENTS MTK PRODUCTIONS

Before she decided to hitchhike to Kentucky and leave her Malibu life behind, Erin studied Psychology at Pepperdine University, worked in Law in Santa Monica, and spent every spare moment in a kitchen. Finding an opportunity to chase her true passions, she moved to the Midwest, or the South (still not sure which one), and has never looked back. As PR & Events Manager, Erin keeps the face of the company looking good! @ezmacd

THOR MORGAN

COO MTK PRODUCTIONS

From eating fried chicken in Paris to studying business & economics at Kentucky, Thor remains a fixture in the day-to-day operations of MTK Productions. His combination of restaurant experience and a passion for all things efficient is what keeps the wheels turning behind the scenes. He enjoys a nice glass of rye whiskey, a mid-day outfit change and finding an appropriate movie quote to bring humor to any situation. @thormordecai

Doug

DOUG PETRY

BAR MANAGER

After visiting Boston’s internationally acclaimed cocktail bar, Drink, Doug said, “That’s something I’d like to do.” Three years and countless cocktails later, he now manages the bar program at Rye. Utilizing the benefits of an amazingly talented kitchen, Doug curates cocktail lists that balance classic recipes with inventive and seasonally inspired creations. His home bar is stocked with a dizzying assortment of flavored vodkas that he mostly enjoys with Red Bull, but occasionally on the rocks if the mood is right. You can follow Doug on Instagram where he rarely ever posts anything @dpetry

Joe

JOE BANET

HEAD CHEF

One too-many dinners consisting of beanie weenies and lime-flavored Jell-O led a 10-years young Joe to open up a dusty 1980 edition of the Good Housekeeping Cookbook in his mother’s kitchen. This was the first time he realized his passion for food and the desire to become a world-class chef. He found his start at the late but great Tommy Lancaster’s Restaurant at age 13, attended the culinary arts program at Sullivan University at 18, and by the age of 23 was a saucier for Tom Colicchio at Craft Dallas. He came on at Rye shortly after opening in 2012 and quickly established himself as a part of the family.

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