Employee Spotlight

Chef Ronnie Lace

Chef Ronnie Lace

Who?

Chef Ronnie Lace


Position?

Executive Chef, Chef Inspired Group of Restaurants


Since?

"I started with Cheese Curds on March 7 (my birthday) four years ago.  What a celebration, I get to remember two great things on this day."

Why'd you want to work with us, and what's your favourite part about it?

"I worked in the hotel atmosphere for 22 years and wanted to take a different approach on my life; my kids were growing up right before my eyes as I worked long hours within the hotel business. I stepped away for a six month period and tried managing a restaurant for a term period to bring a little flair to their menu. Through that time I visited Cheese Curds in Woodside a few times and had this guy approached me about working for him. He knew a lot about me already from other chefs in the city; apparently my name was fired around by them. Now I had to step up to the plate and go after another challenge. I took on the position of chef/manager right off the bat with Chef Bill Pratt and learned a different style of approach and cooking. Burgers and fries? I never knew there was so much work involved, but the challenge was given and the challenge was met. I THINK!

Learning the ropes here at Cheese Curds has been a challenge that Chef Bill put to me and awarded me with a portion of Woodside ownership. I was so surprised when I received such a great and unexpected award from Chef Bill. He was looking at the hours, dedication, hard work and leadership. I had to show him I could do more. I moved up to Burnside April of Last year and took on a huge challenge, helping run the Cheese Curds and the new Truck-Side Food Truck Food Court. It was a great experience and very motivational. I have never seen so many eyes open when we launched them all. I guess with just learning along the way and becoming the executive chef of all 5 Truck-Side eateries, plus working with this great group of men and women make me want to come back daily. I also have the opportunity to see my family grow in front of my eyes now, and not lose track of the behind the scenes. My favourite part; is that I can help make everyone's day by being here and showing them my support, either on the line or in the office. It puts a huge smile on my face to be able to work with such a great bunch of people."

Future aspirations?

"Would be to continue to work here with the team and pass onto them the leadership I was taught. Never letting the ship sink, and continue to grow great people into senior roles, giving them something to look forward to also."

Hobbies?

"My hobbies are singing and spending time with my wonderful family. I try to sing. I'm an okay singer in some people books, but I have fun with my girls singing and dancing the night away with our own karaoke area downstairs at home. Flashing lights, laser lights and disco balls, that's what the kids like...... or maybe its just ME?

My family, home, and working here are what I thrive on, and giving them support whenever it's needed. I wouldn't have it any other way."

Our thoughts

Chef Ronnie has been the backbone of Cheese Curds since joining us a month after our opening over 4 years ago. There is never enough credit given to the guys in the background for the work that they do, and yet Chef Ronnie is a true unsung hero of ours. For over 20 Years Chef Ronnie worked in the hospitality industry and was never given the opportunity to lead his own team until he joined us. I knew right away I had a gem on my team and continued to push him further into the senior executive role that he is today. Currently he manages all 5 restaurant concepts in Truck-Side, and still mentors supervisors in Woodside, where it all began. No matter what the challenge he’s always eager to take on new adventures. He is highly respected by not only his peers and subordinates, but by the entire Pratt family as an extended member of our family.

Bravo Zulu Chef Ronnie

Chef Bill Pratt