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Daisy & Greg

Meet the Ryans - this stylish couple has worked in some of the greatest restaurants in the world.

Now, they have settled in Austin to bring their many talents to McGuire Moorman Hospitality.

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Where did you two meet?

We met while we were both working at Per Se restaurant in New York City.

What are your roles at MMH?

How did you come to work there?

Greg: When Daisy and I decided to move closer to home (she is from the Santa Barbara area, and I am from a farm town in the Willamette Valley in Oregon), we had just gotten married and our “honeymoon” of sorts was driving across the country to eat throughout the U.S. One of our stops was Austin, and we had dinner one night at Jeffrey’s. It was just a great experience, something we even talked about months later. It became a reference point for everywhere else we ate.

When did you meet Larry McGuire?

About a year ago, in Los Angeles, we ran into him and introduced ourselves and told him that we had a great meal at his restaurant and that it meant a lot to us. We left it at that. It was a coincidence that two days later he was staying at the Beverly Hills Hotel (where I was working at the time). We re-introduced ourselves and talked about Austin, New York and LA restaurants. We stayed in touch here and there and sometime in August, he emailed me saying that the General Manager position at Jeffrey’s was open and asked if Daisy and I wanted to check out Austin again. We came down for a weekend, met the whole team, and felt a great community immediately. We didn’t think we would leave LA, but we saw a great opportunity with MMH and really loved Austin. We moved here in October.

How did you get interested in this industry?

Greg: After finishing college and preparing to go to law school, I caught the restaurant/hospitality bug. I started cooking a lot and decided to head to culinary school instead. I found that I had a knack for it, and ultimately I really loved people who worked in restaurants and just the overall experience. I like the blend of being on your feet and using problem solving skills on a minute to minute basis.

Daisy: Food was always very important in my house growing up. While a lot of people say their mother is the best cook, my mother truly is fabulous. She is, and always has been, very experimental. Cooking was always more than just a necessity in our house, it was a hobby — and something that we did together. I attended San Francisco State for a semester and then moved to LA where I attended community college for a while. At the time, I was working in a small cafe, and my job seemed to always take precedent over school. That’s when I realized I was crazy, and it was clear that restaurants were the place that I really wanted to be, so I applied to The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y. and left California six months later.

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What did you do before arriving at MMH?

Greg: I am from a family of farmers [who live] 20 minutes south of Portland, so that is what I spent most of my time doing when I was kid. I went to University of Oregon in Eugene and then went to culinary school at the Le Cordon Bleu in Portland. After finishing culinary school in Portland, I moved to New York and worked at Tribeca Grill for the first couple years, and then spent the next six years working for Thomas Keller at Per Se. Daisy and I moved from New York to LA where I was working as the Restaurant Director of The Polo Lounge at The Beverly Hills Hotel for a year before we moved to Austin.

Daisy: I was born in LA. When I was five, my parents moved us to the Santa Ynez Valley, just north of Santa Barbara. My parents opened a garden design center when I was eight. We spent a lot of time traveling to Europe on buying trips for the store. I suppose that helped me fall in love with food. While attending the CIA, I cooked at Charlie Palmer’s flagship restaurant in Manhattan. After graduating, I went to work for three years in the front of the house at Per Se. After Per Se, I went on to work in the dining room at Danny Meyer’s, Gramercy Tavern, The Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare, and did some service and beverage consulting for a private event space and cooking school. After Greg and I moved to LA, I helped open The Line Hotel in Koreatown as the Beverage Director for Roy Choi’s restaurant group.

What are your favorite beverages at the moment?

Greg: There is so much great beer in this town. Strange Land, Live Oak and Jester King are my three favorite breweries right now.

Daisy: I am a sucker for grower champagnes. If we are out for a nice meal, we like to drink champagne all the way through. It really goes with everything, and it just makes you feel right.

Where was the best meal of your life?

Greg: I am not sure if I can pick one. I feel like I have had a lot of “life-changing” meals. I can tell you that my last favorite meal was just a couple weeks ago in San Francisco at The Progress. We went for Daisy’s birthday, and it was an amazing experience. From the food that they are doing to the service, everything at that restaurant is top notch.

Daisy: A great meal relies on so many things. If we are talking strictly food, I would have to say Brooklyn Fare, or perhaps some of the meals I had while in Italy. But if we are going for all around experience, some of the best meals I have had in my life have been at Gramercy Tavern or just in my parents’ backyard eating pizza and drinking cocktails (they have a pretty amazing pizza oven).

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What are your three spring style essentials?

Greg: You are asking a guy that wears a suit and tie 90 percent of his life. I am looking for some lighter weight fabrics for suiting and maybe some ties that go outside of my usual gray/black color scheme. On my day off, I will be in jeans, a T-shirt, and a pair of Vans.

Daisy: All I really want is to find the perfect dress — one that you can just throw on and you are good to go, the kind that looks good with all shoes. My New Year’s resolution for the past four years has been to wear more color. I bought some Monokel sunglasses recently, and they make me really happy.

Credits

  • Photography by Molly Winters
  • Illustration by Kelly Colchin

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