Ryan Ellis is familiar with the adage, “Never trust a skinny chef,” but for the executive chef at Fit Farm, it works the opposite.
Ellis, 32, joined the fitness and wellness retreat in Castalian Springs, Tennessee, about a year ago.
He said he’s learned about the significance of portion control in meals – for Fit Farm guests as well as himself.
A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley, California, Ellis is a former Marine sergeant who loves to bake.
At home he has a 10,000-pound outdoor brick oven in which he and his fiancé, Caroline, bake 13 different kinds of bread they sell at their business, ARE Trading Post. It’s named in honor of their 7-year-old daughter, Amelia Rose Ellis.
The operation is based at their 12-acre farm in Bethpage, Tennessee, where they also raise hogs and chickens and grow vegetables.
At Fit Farm, a wellness and fitness retreat tucked into the rolling hills of rural Tennessee, Ellis likes to introduce guests to new food concepts that include using herbs and aromatics to flavor meats and vegetables.
“I think it’s interesting to see people try something for the first time and their eyes light up,” he said.
He also enjoys doing demonstrations that teach about food preparation and how to get the most from fresh produce and meat.
Fit Farm is “magical” Ellis said because it generates nearly zero food waste. That’s because it knows how many guests will be on property and the size of the meals they’ll consume.
Whatever waste there is goes into a compost pile which is used to fertilize Fit Farm’s garden.
Ellis believes business should contribute to the greater good. He and Caroline do that at ARE Trading Post and Ellis sees it happening at Fit Farm.
“I like helping people view the world in a different way,” he said. Including the knowledge that chefs can be skinny.
A year ago, Darshan Patel, CEO of Hotel Investment Group in San Diego, California, was one of the first hoteliers in the U.S. to step up and offer properties to overwhelmed hospitals seeking places to care for COVID and non-COVID patients as well as vulnerable populations. As the crisis eases and Hotel Investment Group works to return the hotels to business, Patel is negotiating with local governments to pay for the wear and tear on the properties. Patel is not alone as many hoteliers are unexpectedly dealing with problems that state and local governments’ urgent decisions have created, including property damage, increased costs and eviction bans. This report is the second in a two-part series examining the pros and cons of opening hotels to alternative uses during the pandemic. It is part of Long Live Lodging’s special coverage of the coronavirus crisis and its impact on the hospitality industry.
Dhruv Patel, president of Ridgemont Hospitality, in October shared a bittersweet moment with his parents, Pravin and Sima Patel, when the family business sold the first motel that Pravin had built from the ground up more than 30 years ago. But they rest assured knowing it was the right decision because the 22-room property is being converted into affordable housing for military veterans at risk of homelessness. The transaction is among hundreds taking place across the U.S. as state and local governments work with non-profit agencies to create affordable housing solutions for vulnerable populations amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In Episode 310 Long Live Lodging reports on the financial and legal aspects of what it takes to convert a hotel into long-term housing. This report is part of Long Live Lodging’s special coverage of the coronavirus crisis and its impact on the hospitality industry.