You might say that Ryan Durham has had a “lofty” career as chef. His cooking talents have taken him to Sarento’s on the 30th floor of the Ilikai, Aaron’s 36 floors atop the

Ala Moana Hotel, and now the Plaza Club on the 20th and 21st floors of Pioneer Plaza on Fort Street Mall.

Luckily he has no fear of heights and even less trepidation about how to please diners’ appetites.

Durham, 34, joined the downtown private club as executive chef a year ago, after a stint as regional general manager for Center Plate concessions. Previously, he was regional chef for three night clubs operated by Pipeline Café; and a food broker for Rainbow Sales & Marketing.

Earlier affiliations included TGIFridays, where he was a trainer; Sarento’s, where he worked his way from pantry chef to executive chef; and Aaron’s as sous chef.

Durham was born in Virginia and raised in Kansas City. He came to Hawaii in 1992 on a military assignment at Schofield, where he met his wife Rebecca. They have three children, Darrow, Haley and Alika, whom Durham dotes on as a father almost as much as he does the elite members of the Plaza Club.

The only constant distraction at work, he claims, is the magnificent view.

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