Besides the obvious fact that he is ridiculously good-looking, Ryan "Mickey" McLean is also a very down-to-earth and genuine person. And he can cook ... very well. Yes, ladies, that is what we call the total package. [Editor's Note: McLean was a contestant on the "Bachelorette" vying for Ashley Hebert's heart]
McLean, 30, is a chef at The Flying Fig in Ohio City and works the front of the house at Umami Asian Kitchen in Chagrin Falls. He also was recently crowned Cosmopolitan Magazine's Hottest Single Bachelor 2010. The November issue featuring bachelors from every state (and the nation's capital!) hits stands on Tuesday, Oct. 12. We stopped by the Fig on a gorgeous fall afternoon to chat with the hometown hottie about his quest to be bachelor of the year. [Editor's Note: We chatted with McLean before the big announcement was made on Tuesday, Oct. 12! Congratulations Mickey!]
So tell us, how did you find out you were chosen to represent the state of Ohio?
A couple months ago, I was on my way from (Flying Fig) to the restaurant out east at Umami and received a phone call from one of the staff of editors at Cosmo and they informed me I had been nominated a few months earlier and that I had been chosen. At first, honestly, I thought it was some of my friends up to some kind of prank or something. But once she got more into it, I realized she was certainly from the magazine.
How have things changed since the announcement? Are you getting more female visitors stopping by your restaurants?
I'm not sure. Here at the Fig, I'm back in the kitchen so I don't see a whole lot of what goes on out front. At Umami, I'm at the front of the house ... we've had a few people come in and offer congratulations, so obviously they've seen something connected to the story. The support has been tremendous. They also offer an e-mail address on the Cosmo page. I've certainly received an outpouring of e-mails, to say the least.
What would you rather do on a first date: stay in and cook dinner or take her out?
Usually for a first date ... going out to dinner. I think cooking dinner at somebody's place or at my own place—I guess it depends on the situation—is kinda forward for a first date. Usually for a first date, I like more of a relaxed atmosphere in public ... trying out a new restaurant or an old favorite and talking over a meal.
Let's say you really want to impress a girl ... where do you take her in Cleveland?
That's a tough one. There's a ton to do here. We have three professional sports teams, we've got endless museums and parks, even beaches, monuments. And there's hiking and the West Side Market. There's certainly not a lack of things to do. That's what drew me to this area originally.
What's the best pick-up line you've ever heard from a girl?
I don't know. I think it's not very common, although I think it's becoming more common for women to approach men. It didn't seem to be the case for many years, but recently, it seems like it's a little bit more common for women to approach men. But you really don't hear any pick-up lines. I personally don't really have any pick-up lines or use pick-up lines, so I don't really recall having heard any used on me.
You say you don't use pick-up lines ... there's not even one line you've used that worked on a girl?
[Laughs] No, not really. Certainly not anything that worked. I think I'm pretty approachable and I like to meet new people. I'm not exactly shy by any means. It doesn't bother me approaching women, whether it's anywhere out and about or at a bar, in a social setting. I think pick-up lines are usually something you use more as an ice breaker and I really don't have a problem approaching women, so usually striking up a conversation doesn't need to start with any cheesy lines or anything.
Where do you think is the best place to meet someone of the opposite sex?
I think the most common would be out at night, whether it be a club, a bar or a restaurant. I guess those are the most cliché. But other than that, I think there are plenty of places. I spend a lot of time in grocery stores and I certainly see a lot of attractive, single women there. Right up the street at West Side Market that's also a great spot. As I said before, there's so much to do in Cleveland, with the museums and the public parks. People stay pretty active in the warmer months ... there's a lot of people outside. I don't think it's hard to meet new people.
When you're not in the kitchen, what do you like to do?
When I'm not in the kitchen, I like to be outside. Anything outside—I like to run outside, I like to go hiking. Recently, in the past couple years, I started to get into photography, so I like to find new places around here, throughout the Metroparks, state parks, any of the monuments, sculptures, or anything like that in the city, just to get out there and take pictures. As long as I'm outside, I'm happy, even when it's cold. I don't mind the snow. I grew up in upstate New York so the weather here is pretty much the same, just coming off a different lake.
Let's say you sweep the other contestants and you are crowned Cosmo's Hottest Single Bachelor 2010 ... what's your next move?
I'm taking it one step at a time here and seeing where it goes. Six to eight months ago, I never would've expected for this to be where it's at right now, so I can't really say what the future holds. One of the questions I've been getting is, "so, depending on what happens, are you planning on moving?" Other than people bringing it up to me, that's never crossed my mind. I really have no plans on going anywhere. We'll see. A year ago today, I didn't think I'd be standing here talking to you. A year from now or six months from now, hopefully good things can come from this and I can bring a winner back home to Cleveland.