Cooks at Home - Ryan “Ryanito” Larranaga

By Kaye Warr / Photography By Peter Acker | November 24, 2015
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Ryan “Ryanito” Larranga
 

Ryan “Ryanito” Larranga’s picture can be found in the Oxford English Dictionary under the word “purpose.” In the time it takes you to check if I’m telling the truth there’s a good chance his picture will have appeared under the words “driven” and “visionary” too.

All kidding aside, Ryan will be the first to tell you, in his disarmingly direct manner, that he won’t stop until he has earned a (environmentally friendly) statue erected in his honor. Then he’ll chuckle in a way that reveals him to be as vulnerable and earnest as he is determined and polished. Just like that, you’re a goner.

Ryan is one of those people who exude charisma. He’s passionate about ... everything. That is to say, he’s passionate about everything that Matters. Ryan is a socially conscious musician who eschewed his original political goals for the freedom and authenticity afforded a grassroots movement. Ryan truly wants to change the world, for the better, and he’s assembling a team of collaborators using the following criterion, seemingly vague in theory but, in practice, laser sharp: “They need to get it.”

Ryan’s heritage is Paraguay by way of New Jersey, his grandmother taught him to make ceviche at an early age and his love for cooking is another way that the talented musician riffs on his feelings and ideas about life. He cultivates his backyard garden the way that he cultivates his group of friends: Both are meticulously cared for to yield the most honest and satisfying results.

Ryan found his way to Sarasota in the way many people do: His grandparents retired here. After visiting them he decided to make the change. That may seem like a rather pedestrian inception story but I can tell you that sitting in Perq coffee bar mesmerized by Ryan’s low baritone and expressive eyes it’s easy to believe that this moment was always meant to happen.

One of Ryan’s managers, Marcel Bauduin, has joined us for the purposes of this interview and he distinctly reminds me of Jimmy Fallon’s turn as the manager of Stillwater, the fictional rock band in Almost Famous. I keep expecting him to give me a lesson in mystique—he certainly seems to have given Ryan one. This year, on Halloween, Ryan played a hip-hop show at 5 O’Clock Club to benefit the Humane Society and he’s currently working with Selah Freedom to help end sexual trafficking and exploitation.

Ryan is a rapper, he’s a radio personality, he’s an excellent home cook, but he’s also a leader who plans to use these platforms and any others he can gain access to in order to spread a message of positive change and social awareness. Here’s hoping more people will get it.

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