Chef Ryan Gorby of Cho77 - Biography

Denver, CO

September 2017

Ryan Gorby was born and raised in Sistersville, West Virginia, in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. For his 15th birthday, his father gave him a lifetime hunting license, and when he was 16, Gorby got a summer job at a diner—bussing, washing dishes, and cooking. When school started, he threw his hands in there and said he would never work in a restaurant again. The next summer, he got a job at a marble factory and bought a car, a nice CD player, and a discman with a remote control. 

Gorby went on to study engineering at University of West Virginia, but after two years switched gears, ate his words, got a job at a restaurant, and consequently enrolled at the Pennsylvania Institute of Culinary Arts in Pittsburgh. After graduating, he took a job in Miami at the Biltmore Hotel. He bought a motorcycle and got a tan, but the lifestyle didn’t resonate with Gorby. He moved to New York, crashed on Jonathan Sawyer’s couch, and joined the opening team of Spice Market. He then went on to open restaurants with Angelo Sosa (Yum Cha) and Patricia Yeo (Sapa), before reuniting with Sawyer at Parea and then taking his last job in New York at Buddakan.        

In 2010, Gorby moved to Denver to open Cholon with Chef Lon Symensa, who he’d met at Spice Market. In 2014, the two opened Cho77 with Gorby as chef-partner, carrying over the Southeast Asian flavors of Cholon into a more casual atmosphere and adding inspiration from Gorby’s travels to the region.