ELLA EXECUTIVE CHEF RAVIN PATEL
Chef Ravin Patel has been with Ella since 2009; he transitioned from a culinary career in New York to be closer to home and to raise his own family in Sacramento. Ravin’s passion and respect for food started at a very young age, when he spent countless afternoons and early weekend mornings helping his father and grandmother grow small quantities of vegetables and fruits in their backyard. In his early teens Ravin began working along side his father at their Sacramento deli and grocery store preparing food and managing the deli counter.
Chef Patel began his professional career by attending UC Davis and graduated with a B.S. in Managerial Economics, which landed him a job as a stockbroker. However, he found passion and interest in this field lacking, and after some soul searching he realized food and restaurants were his true calling. He attended French Culinary Institute in New York City to learn classic French techniques, baking, and kitchen skills. An externship at one of New York’s iconic restaurants, Montrachet, truly opened his eyes to fine dining. After the externship Ravin worked at Ian’s in the Upper East Side under Chef Ian Russo for over a year. After the restaurant was sold, Chef Ravin began working at the Michelin Star and multiple James Beard Award-winning restaurant The Modern. Under the guidance of Chef Gabriel Kreuther, Ravin spent 3 years developing and perfecting cooking techniques, management skills, and consulting for area restaurant due to his financial background and managerial capabilities.
Chef Patel’s family originally hails from the Western Indian state of Gujarat, which is about 150 miles north of Mumbai. His culinary heritage is distinctive from the traditional Northern cuisine and its curries that many think of as Indian food. The character of the Gujarati food is vegetarian-based and does not rely on sauces as heavily as Americans are used to with Indian food.
Over the years Chef Patel has been able to bring his own fresh cooking perspective to Ella, first under the tutelage of Chef Kelly McCown, and now with Ella executive Chef Michael Thiemann, who really encouraged Chef Patel to bring his own unique approach and background to cooking at Ella. Not only was Ravin influenced by his family’s gardens and his father’s store growing up, but he also praises his mother as his main culinary influence. She cooked three meals for the whole family every day while also working full time, and Chef Patel says food was the central facet for everything his family did growing up. Whether for holidays or family gatherings, food was always the center of importance.
At Ella Dining Room and Bar, Chef Patel has been an unwavering presence of talent, leadership and professionalism since day one. Under previous Ella Chef Kelly McCown, he really expanded his culinary repertoire, and everyone who worked with him was immediately impressed. His personal background of culinary influences combined with his knowledge of classic techniques and dishes in addition to his managerial skills make him an unmatched and unique force in the Sacramento restaurant world. We are lucky to have him at Ella. Chef Mike and the Selland family were thrilled to promote him to Chef de Cuisine in 2012. We look forward to all that Chef Patel has to offer Ella and its guests now and moving forward.