Festival Host Chef
At Napa Truffle Festival it isn’t enough to celebrate the science and cultivation of truffles, one must consume them―well and often! Owner of La Toque Restaurant and Michelin starred Chef Ken Frank is widely considered the top truffle chef of North America. During our four day festival, he leads a team of internationally acclaimed chefs in creating culinary magic with pounds and pounds of the prized black tuber at every turn.
Chef Ken has earned a stellar reputation for his personalized style of cooking, grounded in the French cuisine he grew to know and love while living in France as a teenager.
He was the opening chef at Michael’s in Santa Monica, considered the Los Angeles birthplace of “California Cuisine.” In 1979, he opened the original La Toque on the Sunset Strip at age 23. His early insistence on using only the finest, mostly local artisanal ingredients is now at the heart of great cooking in America.
Chef Ken finally heeded the call of the wine country and moved north to open a new La Toque in Rutherford in 1998. After a successful ten-year run in Rutherford, he moved his signature restaurant to the Westin Verasa Napa in the fall of 2008. La Toque was named one of the 20 Best Restaurants in America and a Grand Award Winner every year since 2014, both by Wine Spectator and has also received a prestigious Michelin star.
He holds the distinct honor of being the first, and so far the only, American chef invited to participate in the Fiera Internazionale Tartufo Bianco D’Alba, the world-renowned annual Alba White Truffle Festival. More recently, Chef Ken received the distinction of being knighted by the Order of the Knights of the Truffle and Wines of Alba.
Chef Ken lives in Napa with his wife Sherylle, three cats, an African Grey Parrot, flock of egg-laying hens and an impressive tropical fish aquarium! He can be found nightly tasting wine, cooking in and directing the kitchen, or mingling with his many long-time return guests in the dining room of La Toque.
You can savor Ken’s masterfully prepared truffle dishes throughout the Napa Truffle Festival weekend, and at his La Toque restaurant in Napa: www.latoque.com.