HAPPY SOULS:: From losing 40kgs to becoming one of Melbourne’s best chefs with Ryan Lording

Ryan Lording is one of those people who you meet and you instantly just know he is the real deal. Not only does he create Melbourne's sexiest brunch dishes, but he is also a down-to-earth great human.

Born in Melbourne and raised on the Murray River in a tiny country town called Tocumwal, he moved back to Melbourne for VCE and studied Multimedia Design and was a Childcare teacher for two years whilst trying to "find himself".

During his younger years, his parents worked late so he would find himself, most nights, cooking a nourishing family dinner. His meals were so loved, his family convinced him to delve deeper into the world of cooking.

With 12-13 years up his belt, Ryan has become one of Melbourne’s most applauded chefs. His journey started in Middle Eastern fine dining for five years at a restaurant called Canvas, seven-day weeks, 17-hour shifts. He would go home at midnight, eat dinner, shower, sleep and back at work by 7am the next day. This groundhog-day living lasting for five years. After running his body into the ground, needless to say, he needed a workshop his work-life balance. This moment was Ryan’s tipping point when he switched to cheffing at a café. Ryan accepted a position as Head Chef at Tall Timber, which fast became one of Melbourne’s best brunch spots.

This was at a time when the cafe scene in Melbourne exploded. Ryan instantaneously fell in love with creating real, nutritious, wholesome dishes. During this time, he had a light bulb moment when he decided he wanted to change the way Melbournian’s were served food. He wanted to make brunch sexy. This was also a time when ordering dishes with dietary intolerances/lifestyle choices ect ect became the norm.

Seeing this, Ryan decided to do his own investigation and committed to a paleo diet for 12 months. This experience was mind-blowing for Ryan. Whilst educating himself on what he could do with these healthy superfoods, foods which he previously never knew existed. During this time Ryan lost a whopping 40kg, purely from changing eating habits, and he never felt better! The original owners of Tall Timber, Steve and Matt, decided to open a new venture in Carnegie (Left Field), so Ryan was quick to jump at the opportunity for himself and Kerrie (front of house manager) a chance at part-ownership. From day one, this gem of a café had an hour plus waiting times. A few years later the team opened Plain Sailing in Elwood. But Ryan’s story doesn’t end there. He has overcome health and heart operation battles (you’ll have to watch to find out more.) But through meditation (which his girl Nat taught him) and deep healing, he has finally found peace and balance.