jason franey2.jpg
Photo by Leslie Kelly
Chef Jason is all about spending as much time as possible in the kitchen, and that's why he no longer expedites

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When He's Not Cooking or Eating, You Can Find Canlis Chef Jason Franey Snowboarding

jason franey2.jpg
Photo by Leslie Kelly
Chef Jason is all about spending as much time as possible in the kitchen, and that's why he no longer expedites from this spot in the dining room.
Canlis chef Jason Franey's got a huge job, overseeing the kitchen at a landmark restaurant and private dining events. But even on his days off, he can't stay away from the stove, whether it's cooking some pig in a La Caja smoking box or putting together a "rustic" feast at Macrina, something he did a couple of weeks ago to a capacity crowd. Last Saturday, we caught up with this busy chef in the Canlis kitchen, where he was prepping asparagus for that evening's amuse bouche. Yes, even with the fancy title, he still preps: "I spend as much time as possible in the kitchen. It's not just my job, it's my passion."

Oh, chef. You're making us so hot! Read part one of this week's Grillaxin Q&A to learn more.

SW: OK, so what's the deal with this pop-up restaurant thing at Macrina? Don't you already have too much on your plate?

Franey: Of course we're busy, but that's the fun of it! I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to create the Hearth & Home menu and work with my team to serve it in a new environment. We're so happy it was well received.

What do you do for kicks outside the kitchen? What do you cook at home? Where are your favorite places to eat in Seattle?

I love snowboarding. Last weekend, I cooked a whole hog--La Caja

China-style. My favorite restaurants in the city include Staple & Fancy, Crush, Joule, Spur, Spinasse, and Pho Ha.

Who are/were your cooking mentors? Do you have young cooks you're mentoring?

Naturally, I greatly respect Daniel Humm, who I worked under for more than six years. I also look to Alain Ducasse and Frédy Girardet for the classics and René Redzepi and Grant Achatz for contemporary inspiration. Right now, I have a whole kitchen full of great talent and potential.

What do you say to potential diners in your age range to try to convince them that Canlis isn't just for their parents or grandparents anymore?

I actually have noticed many of our long-time guests choose and enjoy my contemporary dishes and younger diners enjoy the flavors and legacy of our classic mainstays. One of the things I love about fine-dining cooking is that it transcends traditional demographic boundaries.

Check back for part three of this week's Grillaxin for a recipe from Canlis chef Jason Franey.

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