Meet Chef Ranada

The Bistro at Chenault Vineyards

Executive Chef Ranada Riley is a true Southern born-and-raised chef with talents that emerged as a child while cooking alongside her mother and grandmother. She built her culinary career upon the simple principles she learned from this precious and hard-earned time: connections.

“That is what this journey is about for me.  Connecting the dots, learning from mistakes, lifting myself up and those around me in friendship and faith – through food.”

Riley’s flair for the creative, an eye for a pleasing plate, and focus on using local, quality ingredients whenever possible has become her signature. She is open, friendly and honest, and loves to connect with her guests through her food.

She is at the helm of Ranada’s – The Bistro at Chenault Vineyards, where she has built an eclectic menu featuring an array of local and southern flavors, including made-from-scratch appetizers, sandwiches, soups, salads, entrees and desserts.

Her menus feature playful and unique items like gourmet omelets, rosemary and roasted grape flatbread, a bourbon bacon burger, berries and cream French toast, grilled romaine salad, Athenian chicken and Southern shrimp and grits.

Meet our

TEAM

The word from

OUR CHEF

“I’m excited to be here at Chenault Vineyards to showcase my signature dishes and design new ones at this beautiful venue,” said Riley. “I’m really enjoying the chance to play in the kitchen more with local foods and cater to our rapidly growing wedding and event clientele.”

Riley insists on using local ingredients whenever possible, pulling produce and herbs from her on-site garden, as well as the vineyards’ grapes and wines to use in her dishes. She uses items from local businesses like Purdy’s Coffee, Dreaming Creek Brewery, Weisenberger Mills, and Minerich Farms.

She is the former co-owner and operator of The Lexington Diner, winning multiple awards like the Taste of the Bluegrass several times, and at CRAVE Food and Music Festival. She has appeared on Food Network Shows like Alton Brown’s Cutthroat Kitchen and Guy’s Grocery Games with Guy Fieri, WLEX, WKYT, WTVQ, WKET, Secrets of Bluegrass Chefs, Food News and Chews, and Local Traveler.

She’s appeared in several local publications like Taste of South, Taste of Home, Lane Report, ACE weekly, Smiley Pete – South Sider and Chevy Chaser, and TOPS in Lex.

Riley was a founder and host of the Lexington Women’s Chef Series, which hosted numerous charitable dinners to benefit local non-profits.  She has cooked with local celebrities Ouita Michel, Martine Holzman and Toa Green, and Michelin star and James Beard award winners such as Elizabeth Falkner, Celina Tio and Anita Lo.

“I’ve recently sold my half of the diner and have embarked on a different journey in life,” Riley says. “A simpler journey with a beautiful view. Raised bed gardens, cattle farms and a gorgeous vineyard seems like the perfect place to “go to pasture” as my Gram used to say about getting older, and gentler.”

Ranada Riley

Ranada’s Bistro at Chenault Vineyards

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DJ PARKER

Hospitality Manager

Our hospitality manager runs the day-to-day operations of a restaurant, including overseeing personnel, ensuring that the facilities are properly maintained, taking steps to ensure customer satisfaction and overseeing the upkeep of the Bistro and Events.

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PATRICIA LAWSON

Executive Sous Chef

Our Executive Sous Chef is responsible to assist the Chef Ranada for overall kitchen operation, ensuring maximum guest satisfaction, through planning, organizing, directing, and controlling the Kitchen operation and administration.

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LOUIS COOMER

Mixologist/Bar Manager

Our Mixologist serves our wines, beer, cocktails and other beverages to our restaurant and bar patrons. He also makes classic drinks and creates new recipes for our signature cocktails. He also is responsible for ensuring that their bars run smoothly and efficiently.