In May 2011, Ryan Hardy stood for the fourth time as a finalist for the James Beard Award: Best Chef Southwest. Though the award eluded him, his next step did not as Hardy resigned his six-year post at The Little Nell Hotel in Aspen, Colorado in search of his own venture in New York City.
In June 2013, Hardy put his creative entrepreneurship to work and opened his first restaurant – Charlie Bird – with Sommelier Robert Bohr in New York City. Located in the SoHo neighborhood, Charlie Bird's Italian-inspired menu showcases Hardy's funky and inventive culinary style and passion for product and service. In February 2016, Hardy opened Pasquale Jones, his second NYC establishment with Robert Bohr and Charlie Bird Wine Director Grant Reynolds. The Pasquale Jones experience features wood-fired food from pizza to roasted meats in a beautiful, comfortable space while maintaining the team’s high level of hospitality standards. To date, both restaurants have received wide acclaim for the food, service, and hospitality in the most competitive marketplace in the country. Most recently, Pasquale Jones rounded out its opening year as a media favorite, winning accolades from The New York Times’ Pete Wells, who named the Clam Pizza one of the “Top 10 New York Dishes of 2016”; Eater New York awarded the restaurant one of its coveted “Best New Restaurant” titles; and The Infatuation placed Pasquale Jones at the top of its “Best New NYC Restaurants of 2016” list.
Hardy’s culinary style and efforts have seen feature stories and appearances in Food & Wine, GQ, Martha Stewart Living, The Martha Stewart Show, Cooking Light, Wine Spectator, Wall St. Journal, The New York Times and NBC’s Today Show, to name a few.
Hardy’s experience in the kitchen began in 1999 at the famed Rubicon Restaurant, owned and operated by Drew Nieporent, Robert DeNiro and the Myriad Restaurant Group in San Francisco. In 2001, a 25-year-old Hardy took the reins of his first restaurant in Aspen, Colorado and nine months later notched Rustique Bistro among Esquire Magazine’s Best New Restaurants. Hardy left to assume the head chef role at Santa Fe’s 4-star Coyote Café, working for James Beard Award Winner Chef Mark Miller.
In 2003, Hardy would return to the Myriad Group at the Coach House Restaurant on Martha’s Vineyard where he was a James Beard Rising Star Nominee in 2004 and was named Best New Chef New England in 2005 by Yankee Magazine. It was here that Hardy began the island’s local food movement, founding New England’s second Slow Food Chapter in 2004 promoting the island’s farmers and fisherman. His efforts did not go unnoticed being named alongside Alice Waters and Roxanne Klein as one of the most sustainable chefs in America in 2005.
A new challenge took Hardy back to Aspen in 2005, to The Little Nell Hotel. Furthering his sustainability record, Hardy founded the 34-acre Rendezvous Organic Farm, spawning a new market for locally grown pork, lamb, goat, chicken, cheese, charcuterie and heirloom Italian produce not previously available in the United States. Armed with these ingredients and intel gained from annual trips to Rome to learn the art of pasta, Hardy developed the style in the kitchen that he exhibits today. For his work at Little Nell, Hardy was nominated four times for James Beard's "Best Chef, Southwest."