Bostonian Gabriel Frasca began cooking at 15. He studied journalism in college, but at 20, a position with James Beard award-winner Gordon Hamersley introduced him to the world of fine French cooking. Frasca put writing on the back burner. In 1996, working at Paul O’Connell’s Chez Henri, Frasca met Amanda Lydon. The next year, Frasca and Lydon moved to Provence and together apprenticed at Michelin two-star Abbaye de Saint Croix.
Frasca then moved to San Sebastian, Spain, to work with three-star Chef Martin Berasategui. Next stop was Italy’s St. Hubertus, where he helped Chef Norbert Niederkofler earn his first Michelin star. There, Frasca met David Bouley, who invited him to help open, Danube. Frasca moved to Manhattan in 1999 and helped Bouley Bakery earn four stars from The New York Times before launching Danube, a restaurant that received three stars of its own.
In 2000, Frasca returned home to Boston and was opening chef at Aquitaine Bis and later chef de cuisine of Radius, which Gourmet magazine named “Top 25 Restaurants in the Country.” Frasca joined Spire as executive chef in November 2003, earning three stars in the Boston Globe. On Nantucket, Frasca finally opened his own place, Ventuno, after successfully reuniting with Lydon at Straight Wharf.