“This is not a profession that you choose. It chooses you.” - Norman van Aken, Chef/Owner of highly decorated Norman’s
Executive Chef Ronnie Killen began cooking at the age of eight and never looked back. He owned his first restaurant; Killen’s Kountry BBQ by 23 and opened Killen’s Sports Café five years later. While working part time in a fine dining establishment in Houston, a desire to pursue the culinary arts emerged and a childhood dream became a reality.
In 1997 Ronnie enrolled in the renowned Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute in London. This culinary institute has trained such noted people as Julia Child, Ming Tsai and Martha Stewart. None of these celebrities however had perfect scores on all of their disciplines as Ronnie did at the time of his enrollment. He graduated from the prestigious culinary academy first in his class and with the Honor of Distinction.
Since graduating Ronnie has added numerous accolades to his resume while working as such fine hotels and resorts as: The Omni Mandalay in Irving, Texas, Big Cedar Lodge in Ridgedale, Missouri and The Ritz Carlton in Rancho Mirage, California. You can’t keep a native Texan away for long and in 2003 Ronnie returned home, accepting the post of Executive Chef at Brenner’s Steakhouse. During his tenure at Brenner’s, the steakhouse was awarded the title of “Best Steakhouse” by the Houston Press and the Business Journal. In February of 2005 Ronnie was awarded the opportunity of a lifetime, a chance at the position of Executive Chef at the White House. He was a finalist but was not ultimately chosen. He was, however, asked by the new Executive Chef to interview for the title of Assistant Executive Chef. Chef Killen still considers this honor to be one of the highlights of his illustrious culinary career.
2005 was a banner year for Chef Killen as he was named a Certified Executive Chef by the American Culinary Federation, after only five months of examinations and practicals. This process usually takes a year or more and is an honor only held by approximately 1200 chefs across the United States.
Ronnie’s love of fine dining brought him home once more as he opened the acclaimed Killen’s Steakhouse in his hometown of Pearland, Texas. Since it’s inception in 2006, Killen’s has gained numerous awards and achieved resounding praise even being called the “Ultimate Steakhouse” by the Houston Chronicle and was named one of Texas best steakhouses by Texas Monthly. Ronnie also had his signature dessert, Crème Brulee Bread Pudding, named one of the Top Ten Dishes in the United States by Food and Wine magazine in 2008.
Ronnie’s passion for food and amazing attention to detail is evident in every aspect of his restaurant as he continues to break the mold of stuffy fine dining and constantly brings innovation to the Houston dining scene. “I want your dining experience at Killen’s Steakhouse to be unmatched; enjoying great cuisine at a great value.”
“My hope is to educate the average diner on the fine art of eating well.” - Chef Ronnie Killen
“Every morning one must start from scratch, with nothing on the stoves. That is cuisine.”
- Fernand Point (1897-1955), Master of la grand cuisine and owner of La Pyrimide