At Frances, chef Melissa Perello’s daily-changing menu reflects modern California sensibilities and focuses on ingredients from local markets, farms and producers in a casual, neighborhood setting.
Named after Chef Perello’s grandmother, Frances is an ode to refined but comfortable sensibilities in both food and decor. Whether it’s the technique-rich, yet simple approach to food, or the open, familiar atmosphere and stellar service, Frances is about sharing great food in good company. This honest, focused approach has resonated with customers and critics alike.
At Frances, Chef Melissa Perello’s take on approachable fine dining features a seasonal menu showcasing produce and products from Northern California’s exceptional farmers - all in a comfortable, neighborhood setting.
Thanks to frequent trips to local farmers markets and longstanding relationships with her purveyors, Chef Perello is able to feature the finest and freshest ingredients. Combined with her natural ability in the kitchen, the result is simple and expertly crafted dishes that reflect her fine-dining pedigree and down-to-earth personality.
Chef de Cuisine Chelsea Olsen grew up in a quiet suburb of San Diego, surrounded by a family of accomplished home cooks. Her grandparents, professional bakers in Denmark, closed their bakery and moved to California in 1958 in pursuit of the American Dream. Embracing the Danish cuisine of her upbringing, Olsen developed an affinity for the kitchen, and after graduating with a degree in Liberal Studies from SFSU, applied to the Culinary Program at CCSF on a whim. What felt like a spontaneous decision turned out to be a matter of intuition. The familiar sights and smells of the kitchen immediately solidified her decision and she started down the path to becoming a Chef. Olsen began cooking at Old St. Mary's Cathedral in Chinatown, creating meals for the priests and then eventually began working in restaurant kitchens throughout San Francisco. After solidifying her experience in the restaurant scene, Olsen was inevitably drawn to Melissa Perello's Frances for it's female-led team and seasonal, approachable-yet-elevated cuisine. Upon joining the Frances team, Olsen was able to learn and grow with guidance from Chefs Melissa Perello, Michaela Rahorst and Connie Tsui. Honoring the culinary influences of her family and mentors, Olsen took the reigns as Chef de Cuisine at Frances in Spring 2018. Her first review from the San Francisco Chronicle garnered abundant praise, claiming "Frances is still on top."
Chef de Cuisine Brandon Peralta began his culinary journey at home, in his family's kitchen. As his interest continued to blossom, he began taking culinary classes and attended California High School's culinary-focused program. Upon graduation, Peralta began working at Vintage Cafe in his hometown of Whittier, California. It was here he realized that cooking professionally was his calling and made arrangements to move to the Bay Area in pursuit of this dream. Almost immediately upon arriving in San Francisco, Peralta landed a job at Wexler's under acclaimed Chef Charlie Kleinman. The precision and technique demonstrated by Kleinman and his team were an eye-opening experience for the young cook. Peralta embraced his time at Wexler's as the ultimate learning opportunity and was eventually awarded the role of Sous Chef. When Wexler's ceased operation in 2015, Peralta accepted a position at Melissa Perello's newly opened Octavia. After a few months, he found himself splitting time between Octavia and it's sister restaurant, Frances. Peralta was eager to gain experience and was drawn to Frances' intimate, yet fast paced environment. Under the helm of mentors Chef Melissa Perello, Chef Jen Jackson, Chef Michaela Rahorst, and Chef Connie Tsui, Peralta was able to continue his development as a Chef and leader and, soon after, was awarded the role of Sous Chef. In January 2018, Peralta was promoted to the position of co-Chef de Cuisine alongside Chelsea Olsen. The team received a glowing review from the San Francisco Chronicle in their first month and continue to uphold the culinary ethos and long-standing reputation of Frances.