On a gray morning in May, a few weeks after Food and Wine magazine named him one of its Best New Chefs, I asked 33-year-old Jason Franey, executive chef at Canlis, to meet me at Pike Place Market. I knew he was a big Market fan, and I was curious to see which stalls and shops would stand out to the wunderkind New York expat, previously the number two guy at Danny Meyer’s famous restaurant, Eleven Madison Park.
Franey led me to Bavarian Meats, where he stocks up on landjager, a beer, pork, and pepperoni sausage. “It’s awesome with beer,” said Franey. Another favorite: “this cool ham that’s connected to bacon. You slice it and fry it up; bacon on bacon!” The Souk, next door, a stuffed-to-the-gills shop full of spice jars and stacked cans of hummus, is Franey’s source for candied fennel seeds—the owner, Manzoor, imports them from India and sells them for $5.99 a pound.
In front of the pastry case at Le Panier Very French Bakery the chef rhapsodized about croissants aux fruits, layers of butter-brushed pastry swaddling apricots and cream. “They’re the perfect thing in the morning—sweet but acidic and flaky.” We crossed the street to the Arcade, where Franey stopped short in front of the Moon Valley Honey stand to glob some raw wildflower goo onto a sampling stick. “I would serve this with cheese,” he said. “If you buy expensive honey, do not cook with it. It kills the aromatics.” At Frank’s Quality Produce, Franey chatted with owner Frank Genzale, who provides the fruits and veggies Franey uses on his chef’s menu. “When you get the white asparagus, save it for us,” said Franey. Then his cellphone lit up. “It’s the restaurant,” he said, frowning. Time to head back to work.