While it’s already big news that Fernson Brewing Company is opening a new taproom in the former Bros. Brasserie Americano location in downtown Sioux Falls, it’s even more exciting that they’re keeping culinary director Ryan Tracy in the process. 605 caught up with the inventive cuisine expert. 

I’m constantly hanging out with my dogs (two bulldogs and a chihuahua). These are my other children in addition to my two daughters Haley, 20, and Kadren, 19. I spend a lot more time with the canine children now that my daughters are out of the house. And in the summer early in the morning I take them to the Spencer Dog Park in hopes there aren’t many dogs there yet so I can let them loose and play. It can be hard to supervise three dogs off leash by yourself. 

You can find me playing pinball often as I’m a fiend for pinball of any kind. I can literally spend hours playing. I really enjoy going to Electric Rainbow and then catching a show at West Mall 7 Theatres.

Usually I gravitate toward any game from the late ‘80s to late ‘90s. Just a childhood thing, I guess. If my daughters are with me, I always have to play Let’s Make a Deal with them, although I’m not really sure if I help them or hurt them in that case. 

Although I can’t comment too much on the taproom at this point, I’ve been really into developing a new concept for Fernson and the new location. The influences that we’re drawing on are shareable and are small bites that can be composed into a full meal if you so choose, or can be a quick bite. It will be casual and laid back with the focus centered around bringing people together for an experience in food and drink, not just going out to eat. I’m really pumped to be a part of Fernson, and look forward to really amping up the DTSF dining experience with a fresh, new concept. And for some great local beer, of course! 

I like to eat at Bread & Circus Sandwich Kitchen. [Chef] Jordan Taylor is a good dude. The food there is awesome and there is nothing like it in town. I love the Lamb Philly; it’s a unique take on the classic Philly sandwich. I’m also going to be doing a podcast with him soon where we speak about all things pertaining to restaurants in and around Sioux Falls.

I like to hang out with Shaine Schroeder, who’s an artist/muralist. He does a lot of work around town. Lately we have tinkered around with doing a cookbook/art book where there will be recipes, photos, and stories exploring the parallels between art and food. 

I’m really into history of any kind, but am especially into food history or American history, which often intersect. This is something that I believe really reflects in my style of cooking, which I would call “Southern liberal.” Kind of a joke, really, but Southern in a sense of my upbringing, and liberal in the sense that flavors and techniques in Southern cooking are a mainstay, but ingredients can and should change–oftentimes for the better. The technique and the spirit of the dish is the only thing that I feel has to be true, not necessarily the flavors and textures. 

Netflix and chilling (literally) with my wife is a favorite, who was also my co-chef for about a 12-year period. She’s my best friend, and I don’t take that for granted. It’s nice to be on the same wavelength as your partner in any relationship, especially in this case with something that’s extremely personal to both of us—food. Also, just an FYI for Sioux Falls, I think she’s a way better cook than me in most cases. 



I’m a New Orleanian.

My cooking career started when I was 13.

Trivia is the best.

I’m an excellent whistler when properly hydrated.

I don’t wear a watch. Ever.





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