Our Team

Lon Symensma | Chef/Owner
After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), Chef Lon traveled extensively, working in some of the world’s most prestigious restaurants.  Early on, Lon was introduced to Asian cuisine by his mentors, Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Gray Kunz.  After opening Jean-Georges Shanghai, Lon continued working for a year in Asia.  Upon returning to NYC, he opened famed restaurants, Spice Market and Buddakan.  Lon has created special relationships during his many travels throughout China and Southeast Asia.  He has had unique opportunities such as working first hand in production of Red Boat Fish Sauce, appearing as a guest chef on Top Chef Vietnam and returning to his alma mater, CIA Singapore as a featured guest lecturer. These experiences have allowed Lon to provide diners with an insightful glimpse of his culinary adventures with each dish served.

Lon has developed a tremendous amount of prestige in Denver and nationwide as the Executive Chef/Owner of ChoLon.  Cho77 will be his second venture in showcasing his love for the flavors of Asia.

Ryan Gorby | Executive Chef/Owner
Ryan discovered a love and natural talent for cooking at a young age and after high school, decided to pursue his culinary education at Pennsylvania Institute of Culinary Arts in Pittsburgh.  He took his training to NYC where the next 8 years were spent working in some of the city’s top restaurants under chefs such as Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Michael Symon, and Lon Symensma.  When Chef Symensma decided to leave NYC to open his own restaurant in Denver, he tapped Ryan to be his right-hand man at the new Southeast Asian inspired hot spot ChoLon.  After an enlightening trip to the far east, the duo headed west for the Rockies.  Hard work and dedication paid off as ChoLon became a staple in the Denver dining scene with many accolades and some very loyal fans!  Turning again to Asia for inspiration, Chef Gorby traveled from the mountains of northern Thailand to the sweltering streets of Singapore, and now hopes to share a little piece of Southeast Asia with South Broadway at Cho77.

Mat Howerton | General Manager / Bar Director

Ben Garding | Sous Chef

 

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