Culinary Arts Scholarship Created in Ian Reynolds’ Memory

December 2015

By Julia Colborn

On October 23, born and bred Wake Forester Ian Reynolds passed away in a tragic car accident. At only 25, he possessed a natural talent in the kitchen that had earned him the executive chef position at Real McCoy’s Restaurant and Bar, but it was his caring demeanor that earned him the town’s love.

“Ian was the first person who was nice to me when I moved here,” former classmate Ashley Cline said, echoing the sentiments of most everyone who knew him.

He was passionate about people, and he was the type of friend who would cook a big meal with a Facebook invitation to “anyone who’s hungry.”

Coy Privette of Real McCoy’s saw this same passion when he first hired Reynolds the Sunday before the grand opening.

“He was no better than a line cook,” Privette said, “but he said all the right things, so I thought, ‘All right, let’s put him in the kitchen and see what he can do.’ ”

Reynolds flourished. Privette remembered how Reynolds would remark, “It’s [Mrs. Privette’s] recipes, but it’s my food.”

This zeal for the culinary arts has inspired his family to institute a scholarship. Initially, the Reynolds family started a account to assist with the funeral expenses. The amount of support they received quickly began to surpass their needs, so they decided to contact a scholarship foundation. They plan on helping fund one culinary arts student a year in Reynolds’ honor. This January, on his birthday, a fundraiser will held at Real McCoy’s to ensure that the scholarship minimum is not just met but can be exceeded.

Sudden loss of life is always devastating, particularly such a young and promising one as this. The community’s desire to commemorate one individual – and the ability to achieve it on such a grand and ongoing scale – demonstrates the impact of the relationship between an individual and his community. Although he is no longer here, Ian Reynolds’ legacy will live on.

To contribute to the scholarship, go to