Canlis’ Classy Chef Introduction

Canlis just held a champagne-enhanced press conference, finally ending overnight speculation in announcing the hiring of Jason Franey as their new executive chef. According to brothers Brian and Mark Canlis, there’s “no more qualified chef to be part of what we’re doing here” than 31-year-old Franey, who will be leaving his position as sous chef at Eleven Madison Park (awarded three stars by the New York Times) in New York. Franey will replace outgoing chef Aaron Wright (who’s apparently looking forward to returning home to California) on December 1.

What does this mean for Canlis? Regarding the popular shrimp, teriyaki and steak dishes (some of which have been on the menu 58 years), the brothers assure “we’re a family, those are family recipes, and we’re not going to throw them away.” But, with excitement, they say of Franey: “Once you taste his food, you’ll know why we’re begging him to change some things.”

Franey mentioned that his culinary style is very market-driven, very seasonal, and very local. That’s a familiar song these days. But he’s anxious to show off his skills. To tease our tongues, that’s Franey pictured (on the right) putting fresh-shaved truffle finishing touches on his sunchoke panna cotta. A classy finish to the press conference, and a tempting taste of what’s to come at Canlis.

Cross-posted at Seattlest, where “we” = me. Check out my report of Canlis’ participation in the “Berries and Cherries” Dish-Off for Sound magazine.

 

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