5 Minutes with Jason Franey of Canlis

The James Beard Foundation Awards finalist reveals his go-to guilty pleasure and favorite spring ingredient
April 17, 2014
by Leslie Kelly

Canlis chef Jason Franey - who came to Seattle six years ago after working at Eleven Madison Park in New York City - is excited about his third James Beard Foundation nomination, ramps and Tater Tots. Here, our rapid fire of questions and answers with the inventive kitchen whiz.

You’ve been a finalist a few times. How was it different this year?

Yes, it's the third time this year! It’s such an honor every time and the excitement definitely never wanes.

You’ve cooked on both coasts. What’s the biggest difference between East Coast and West?

Honestly, the ingredients are a little better on the West Coast but the vibe in the kitchens I’ve worked in hasn’t changed from East to West. It’s always the same because I find it very important to set the tone wherever I go.

What ingredient are you most pumped up about right now?

Ramps. They have such an awesome flavor and you can preserve them to use later. It’s a nice surprise to have a taste of spring in the fall and winter.

What’s your go-to guilty pleasure meal?

Tater Tots. Without question.

Where do you go out to eat around Seattle?

I love Staple & Fancy, Canon and Miller’s Guild. All different vibes but with great service, comfortable atmosphere and food.

What are your plans for James Beard weekend in NYC?

I’m headed to the Derby Party at Eleven Madison Park, hopefully dinner at the Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare and I plan on spending as much time catching up with New York friends as possible.

tater tots
james beard foundation
james beard awards