Meet Nathan Franconi
December 16, 2019
New to Hospitality, Nathan Franconi is currently training as a Third Cook at Berkeley College. No stranger to the culinary life, Franconi, a Culinary Institute of America graduate, earned an AA in Cooking Fundamentals and at age 29, has an impressive one and a half decades of professional kitchen experience under his belt. At 15, he jumped straight into the weeds as a prep cook and dishwasher at the Yankee Peddler Inn in Torrington, Connecticut. After graduating from the CIA, Franconi was a Sous Chef for the Boston Hyatt Regency in Cambridge, and for the past five years, was the Executive Chef at La Mirage in North Haven, a banquet hall for private events.
Franconi, a Torrington native, is third generation Italian-American and attributes his love of food to his paternal grandmother, who he affectionately refers to as Nonna. Originally from Beneto, Italy, Nonna first taught Franconi pasta-making at age six, and his love for the craft hasn’t ceased. “Cooking is the best connection with people. Everyone has to eat and everyone loves food.”
When asked his favorite food to cook, Franconi’s is Cambodian, thanks to Chanta, his fiancé of two months. Chanta’s mother, an accomplished home cook, has opened his eyes to an entirely new cuisine, hot pots, spring rolls, and Nuom, sticky rice cakes steamed in banana leaves. In his professional life, Franconi finds the work challenging, always changing. He enjoys the collaborative process, and at Yale, is excited by the opportunity to learn new techniques and recipes, and to draw on the experience of his Berkeley colleagues.