Juniper And Ivy Taps Food & Wine “Best New Chef” + James Beard Finalist As Executive Chef

It was announced that Jason Franey, an alumnus of some of the finest kitchens in the country, has joined the team at Juniper and Ivy as Executive Chef.

Franey will take the lead at the Michelin-recognized eatery at the end of June. Anthony Wells, Juniper and Ivy’s former Executive Chef, has been promoted to Culinary Director.

Started in the kitchen at 15

Classically-trained with a market-driven culinary style that draws influences from beyond the borders of California, Franey began his impressive career at the age of 15 in Palm Beach, Florida, starting as a line cook and advancing to Chef Brigade and eventually Chef de Partie of L’Escalier, the 4-star, 4-diamond rated restaurant at the The Breakers Hotel.

At 24, he trained under Chef Daniel Humm as Executive Sous Chef of Campton Place in San Francisco, a mentor relationship that would span both coasts over a six-year period eventually landing both chefs at Michelin three-star Eleven Madison Park in New York.

In 2008 at age 31, Franey became the Executive Chef of Seattle’s most celebrated and storied restaurant: Canlis. During his six-year tenure, Franey garnered Food & Wine’s “Best New Chef” award, was a James Beard Foundation finalist for “Best Chef: Northwest” three years in a row, and in 2013, was named a Relais & Châteaux Grand Chef, one of only 161 chefs in the world at the time to receive the prestigious designation of culinary excellence.

Franey eventually moved to Monterey, California, to become the Executive Chef of Restaurant 1833, earning the historic dining institution a 3.5-star review and “Best Restaurant in Monterey” commendation from revered San Francisco Chronicle dining critic, Michael Bauer.

In 2017, Franey moved to San Francisco to work for the Proper Hotel Group’s newest property in Mid-Market, eventually being tapped by MINA Group’s Chef Michael Mina to refresh his Michael Mina Bellagio property in Las Vegas and MICHAEL MINA, the chef’s Michelin-recognized flagship restaurant in the heart of San Francisco.

For the past several years, Franey has served as Special Projects Chef and consultant for Accor Hotels, working on multiple venues for the brand in North America specializing in menu development and research and development.

An evolution of the cuisine

Franey joins the Juniper and Ivy team with enthusiasm to learn and further cultivate the deep community connections fostered by Chef Wells. This includes purveyor relationships that celebrate the region’s wild-capture fisheries and environmentally responsible marine aquaculture, as well as the vast network of niche, small-acreage growers in the county well-known for their heirloom, ethnic, and specialty crops.

Entering an already established and award-winning eatery, Franey will initially spend time with Chef Wells, pastry chef, Lindsay Sipress; beverage director and sommelier, Nick Gergen; GM Anna Shin; and the rest of the Juniper team in order to build on the restaurant’s culinary ethos and foundation.

Menu development will follow and Franey notes it should be less a departure and more an evolution of the cuisine that’s made Juniper and Ivy one of the most notable in the region.

Passing the torch

“I am very excited to have the torch from Juniper and Ivy passed to me,” says Franey. “It’s important that I complement the cuisine at Juniper and Ivy in a gentle and thoughtful manner, and I can’t wait to use the stellar product here and cultivate new relationships along the way.”

“I believe that the best way to attract talent is to provide an environment where chefs are truly given free rein, “ says Juniper and Ivy owner, Mike Rosen. “We are beyond thrilled to be able to attract a proven and pedigreed chef of Jason’s caliber to join Juniper and Ivy. It did not take long for Jason to appreciate that the food coming in the back door of Juniper is a chef’s dream — as pristine as ingredients from anywhere in the world. We are looking forward to seeing where Jason leads Juniper in our continual effort to push culinary boundaries in San Diego.”

See you there….and stay healthy, San Diego!

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