Frasca Food and Wine has a new chef de cuisine: Samuel McCandless who is replacing Jared Sippel in the Friulian-inspired kitchen. Sippel is off to New York City where he will serve as executive chef at the second location of Brooklyn Fare, a three Michelin star restaurant that will open a Manhattan location later this year.
McCandless took over the reigns of the kitchen yesterday and Frasca's co-owners, master sommelier Bobby Stuckey and chef Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson, are confident that he is the best man for the job. Born and raised in Red Lodge, Montana, McCandless started his cooking career when he was only 15. He had a rare opportunity to work under a great mentor and chef at Enzo in Billings who had previous experience at Le Bernardin, Windows on the World, and Bouley in New York City.
In 2002, McCandless moved to Boulder and worked at Q's Restaurant in the Hotel Boulderado quickly moving his way through each position in that kitchen. When Frasca opened in 2004, he jumped at the opportunity to work with chef Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson. Two years later, McCandless moved to Scottsdale, Arizona to open a new restaurant with former Frasca chef Brendan Sodikoff.
A move to Chicago landed McCandless on the opening team of the famed L20 restaurant with acclaimed and eccentric chef Laurent Gras. With Gras at its helm - and McCandless on the team- L2O earned 3 Michelin stars. After chef Gras departed from L20, McCandles rejoined chef Sodikoff who was by now in Chicago. In 2010, they opened Gilt Bar to much acclaim. In 2011, the Colorado lifestyle drew McCandless back to Boulder where he rejoined the Frasca team.
In his new position as chef de cuisine, McCandless is most excited sourcing new items from purveyors. "The menu will be more inspired by Friuli," he says. "There will be more seafood on the menu driven by inspiration from the beautiful coast line from Venice to Trieste and also, some higher dollar items to share amongst the table," he adds.
While this is a new position for the chef, his history with Frasca is significant as he was part of the opening team. "I opened Frasca and the style of restaurant we are has been in the back of my head wherever I was after I left the first time," McCandless explains. "Bringing it home to Boulder!" he adds.
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· Frasca Food and Wine Receives James Beard Award for Outstanding Wine Service [EDen]
· Frasca Sommelier Matthew Mather Talks Wine, Mentors, More [EDen]