Zack Ridenhour

Executive Chef, Trummer’s Restaurant

A Virginia native, Ridenhour grew up in the kitchen, cooking alongside his mother and father, familiarizing himself with diverse flavors as his parents were avid travelers fond of international cuisines. One of his favorite dishes to make was homemade gyoza with his father, who had spent time in Japan where he perfected his dumpling-making skills. Ridenhour landed his first job at a restaurant, bussing tables and washing dishes, quickly earning a role in the kitchen as soon as he turned 16. As a high school student, Ridenhour enrolled in the Chantilly Culinary Program, where he proved himself as a district and state champion in culinary arts.

After graduating high school, he continued his studies at Stratford University where he fine tuned his culinary craft, mastering skills like whole animal butchery, fresh pasta making, charcuterie production, and seasonal scratch cooking. During this time he met Clay Miller, the Trummer’s opening executive chef, and was convinced to leave Stratford to join the restaurant team full time.

Following his time at Trummer’s, Ridenhour landed a role as sous chef at Bluejacket, and later went on to positions at Rustico and Sixth Engine. In 2019, he joined the team at The Salt Line and quickly took on a leadership role, working directly with Chef and Partner Kyle Bailey, to develop and test recipes for the restaurants’ seasonal menu. Throughout his years working with Bailey, Ridenhour looked to him for culinary inspiration particularly for his ability to shift gears between and master different cultural cuisines. In his own cooking, Ridenhour looks to emulate Bailey’s effortless transitions between diverse flavors by blending cultural techniques, styles, and ingredients.

Before re-joining the team at Trummer’s, Ridenhour served as the Executive Chef at Alta Strada Mosaic where he creatively developed and executed the restaurant’s authentic Italian menu.

After twelve years, Ridenhour returns to oversee Trummer’s new menu as the restaurant refocuses on its casual, American bistro concept. In collaboration with co-owner Stefan Trummer, Ridenhour will integrate Austrian influences into the menu to speak to the restaurant’s roots. Chef Ridenhour believes that food shouldn’t be overcomplicated and hopes to showcase that through sourcing high-quality, locally sourced ingredients. When not in the kitchen, he spends most of his time with his two children, embracing the outdoors. He loves all things hunting, fishing, camping, and hiking and currently resides in Stafford Virginia.