Celebrated chef Lenore Nolan Ryan has opened Lenore's -- Lenore Nolan Ryan Catering & Cooking School, an inventive and inviting culinary destination, in a beautiful new location on Galt Ocean Mile in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. This gifted and passionate chef is offering an enticing array of weekly themed pop up dinners, Bubbles & Brunch on the weekends, happy hours with tapas and wine tastings, and hands-on cooking classes, at her new space. Chef Lenore will also be opening her doors to host private and corporate parties, along with off-premises catering services at clients' homes and businesses. Her impressive roster weekly calendar of offerings will definitely appeal to her loyal client base, which is comprised of local residents and will entice a wide variety of visitors, as well.
If Chef Lenore's name sounds familiar, it should, as she has been a bright light in Fort Lauderdale's culinary landscape since 2000. While she is thrilled to be in her newest location, she previously operated Lenore Nolan Ryan Catering & Cooking School, in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, from 2000-2015, and she spearheaded The Event Center at the First Baptist Church, in Fort Lauderdale, from 2015-2016.
Chef Lenore states, "When I found this new location, it wrapped its arms around me. I knew that I was home. I opened my doors to my neighbors, in mid-May of this year, to share my passion for food, and my love of entertaining, cooking, and catering."
Her sister April, an interior designer, helped her to design this enticing light and airy space. There are high ceilings, soft gray & white walls, and accents and design elements in shades of blue, teal, aqua, and silver, which perfectly reflect the seaside setting. The 2200-square-foot space boasts white leather chairs, sofas, and box stools; nicely spaced caramel-colored tables; teal pendant lighting; oversized teal glass pitchers and decanters; mosaics; oversized silver bowls and platters on the walls; and Mexican tile flooring.
This lush setting is the perfect place to indulge in Chef Lenore's superb offerings. While the menus for themed dinners, brunches, cooking classes, and catering are diverse and varied. They all incorporate fresh, hand-picked ingredients and her impressive and creative culinary flair. Each event is also imbued with Chef Lenore's irrepressible joie de vivre.
Diners of all ages enjoy Chef Lenore's dishes, which include her famous Lenore's Salad, five-spice salmon, prawns Provencal, Turkish-spiced lamb, braised beef in Barolo wine sauce, preserved lemon red snapper, tzatziki lamb burgers, burrata arancini, port figs with ricotta and prosciutto, cedar plank salmon cold blueberry soup, tom ka gai soup, ginger noodle pancakes, wild mushroom risotto, stuffed artichokes, inside-out pizza, and tequila and pomegranate-braised short ribs.
Ditto for menu items, from the Bubbles & Brunch events, such as her famous Ethereal Cream Biscuits and confiture; Stuffed artichoke Benedict, banana bread French toast with almond butter drizzle; sweet corn frittata with crispy pancetta, tomatoes, burrata, and Reggiano Parmigiano; classic eggs Benedict; French omelettes with sauteed garlic spinach, roasted mushrooms, and gruyere cheese; crispy pork belly & coddled egg waffle sandwiches; and avocado & prosciutto tartine.
Her cooking classes provide her with the perfect place to introduce diners to her love of creating a myriad of scrumptious dishes, having fun while cooking, and dining with panache. She has created hands-on classes that appeal to her loyal students and adventurous new guests. Additionally, she will expand her offerings in October, with Lenore-A-Go-Go -- on Wednesday evenings from 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. -- where customers can come in and enjoy a glass of wine and purchase a swell selection of ready-to-eat prepared foods. She also plans to add Bubbles & Brunch on Sundays, during the season.
Chef Lenore states, "I was born to cook and entertain. It is my lifeline and the gift that I have been given. My clients are my inspiration and they always take me on delicious journeys."
Chef Lenore was inspired to cook from a very young age by both her mother -- a dedicated cook who truly enjoyed entertaining -- and her father, Duke Nolan, who was one of the owners of the famed Cal-Neva Hotel and Casino, along with several casinos in Havana. She was born and raised in Miami, and the family ate regularly in the city's best restaurants. After living in Miami and Cuba, she spent eight years in Indiana (after her parents divorced and her mother remarried a man from the Hoosier state).
Chef Lenore's entrepreneurial culinary spirit took flight when she was a student, at Indiana's Butler University, studying voice and piano. Since she loves brunch, she convinced the owner of a small restaurant to allow her to rent the space, on Sundays, when she brought in her own food and staff. Lenore's Brunch at the Pleasant Peasant was quite a success and it also led to her starting a catering business thanks to her diners' requests.
Two years later, she moved to San Francisco, and repeated the process, cooking and serving brunch on weekends at a friend's restaurant. Her continued success inspired her (and her now former husband) to open their own restaurant -- Ryan's -- in 1980. They chose a charming, three-level Victorian, in the Castro district of the city, where they served lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch. Ryan's also included a charcuterie selection and a gourmet take-out market, a wine bar, cooking school and indoor and outdoor seating on the third floor of their restaurant.
Chef Lenore notes, "I cooked on the line, taught cooking classes, and catered parties -- and I loved every minute of it."
Despite her definitive success in San Francisco, she decided to move back to Fort Lauderdale, in 1998, because she missed her family. She initially turned Gina's Italian Take Out in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea into Gina Lenore's. Her first Florida eatery served gourmet pizzas and she also offered catering to her customers. She shifted her focus in 2000, at the same location, when she opened Lenore Nolan Ryan Catering & Cooking School in LBTS. Her newest location, on A1A in Fort Lauderdale, is the culmination of her joy of the many years in the hospitality industry. Best of all, it comes with an expanded space featuring a casually upscale interior and an expanded roster of superb culinary offerings, perfectly named Lenore Du Jour.