"I just try to make food that's good and comfortable. You still have to stay contemporary with these times," says 31-year-old Jason Franey, the executive chef of Canlis.
"You can't just, you know, do something that was 50 years ago; it's still great, but you definitely have to raise the bar."
Franey inherited a job that requires pleasing the palate of both long-time customers and new clientele.
"And if you do call 24 hours in advance we will (cook) whatever you had in the past and try to do it the exact same way."
Things like the steak tartare and Peter Canlis prawns have been on the menu for the past 58 years.
"And I respect that," laughs Jason.
He also respects the ingredients he cooks with.
"That's what makes my job easier -- dealing with the best purveyors and the best sources and getting the best product."
In the six months he's been at Canlis, he's incorporated new menu items such as, "Lamb sliders, which is basically what I use from all the scraps from the lamb racks, the lamb saddles."
So, I utilize everything in the kitchen -- I try to. The miner's lettuce salad. To me, that salad screams spring. You'll never know that there's 28 ingredients in that salad because it just all works together."
But what he loves to make most is charcuterie.
"You know, pates, terrines and sausages -- only because it's taking something that's trash or scrap and making it into something beautiful," Franey says. "It's definitely an art that's coming back and I have a lot of fun doing that."
Places Chef Franey likes to Go Eat!: Tilth, Union, How to Cook a Wolf, Anchovies & Olives, Crush, Rover's, Paseo.
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