Ryan Waesche – Chef with a Purpose

“Bad things do happen in the world, like war, natural disasters, disease. But out of those situations always arise stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things.” -Daryn Kagan

This powerful quote perfectly captures our very own Ryan Waesche, Corporate Chef at Dream Foods. On August 1st he packed a few things, bought an airline ticket and headed west to Northern California while most people in the area were being encouraged to get out and to do so quickly. The Carr Fire has been tearing through this area and has made the record books as the worst fire here to date. Ryan learned of this tragic situation and saw it as an opportunity to lend a hand rather than watch from afar. He flew to Sacramento and headed into Redding, one of the areas needing the most help.

Before reading about Ryan’s trip, I hadn’t considered the extra efforts needed to keep all of these displaced people, residents and rescue workers fed. When something like this happens, there are victims, volunteers, and first responders in unfamiliar surroundings and accommodations. They need comfort, shelter and food. Enter Mercy Chefs, an organization that provides restaurant-quality meals to those who are suffering and those who are helping. One of the greatest gestures we as humans can make is to prepare and share food with others in times of need, and this organization does just this.

Ryan became familiar with Mercy Chefs during the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. With friends and family in the area he felt a calling to help and with his culinary skills, Mercy Chefs was a perfect fit. They seemed to think he he was great addition to their group too, as he was deployed to help with Hurricane Irma relief efforts shortly thereafter.

Ryan became a professional chef in 2015, opening his own catering business after 22 years in the corporate world. Through this endeavor, Ryan met Jeff Turner of Dream Foods at the annual Have a Heart Community dinner and a friendship was forged.

Today Ryan is the Corporate Chef at Dream Foods, overseeing three departments within the business. One of his passion projects is working with the Homeless Ministries and the Street Reach Team, helping to feed the homeless and restore hope. The world could use more Ryans, that’s for sure.