Athena Calderone Gets Schooled By A Top NYC Chef

It's an incredible thing when a dream comes true. Last week, I had the opportunity to cook in the kitchen at Franny’s alongside Chef John Adler. And, a massive dream came true for me. I’m not quite sure I can express the adoration and gratitude I feel toward Franny’s — it has single-handedly changed the way I eat and inspired the way I cook. So much so that I had to split this post into two!
The first week, Victor, Jivan, and I discovered Franny’s, we ate there three times. I was just absolutely blown away by the food — how fresh it was, how simply it was prepared and how you could taste the purity of each ingredient in every bite. Six years later, we frequent Franny’s once a week, usually right when the doors open at 6 p.m. Hence, we’ve developed a long-standing relationship with Franny, Andrew and the entire team. For us, it’s really become family dining at its best!
One of my favorite things about Franny’s is that the menu changes daily, depending on what’s local, in season, and available at the farmer’s market. Using the finest and freshest seasonal ingredients allows for simpler food that has real stand out flavor — in simplicity the most dynamic flavor combinations exist! No one embraces the philosophy that less is more better than Franny’s. And, it’s a philosophy that has educated, elevated and transformed my palette.
They’ve cracked open a new way of combining flavors and inspired me to take creative license in my own kitchen — playing with tastes and textures to create new flavors. I am always thinking, what can I do to make this dish Franny’s worthy? What’s the contrasting element that will add the unexpected texture or flavor to color each bite? What flavor will create that moment that makes you stop, take another bite, wonder what’s making it so good and swoon.

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