Who is Juniper and Ivy’s new chef? Jason Franey — he’s an alum of Canlis, Eleven Madison Park and Michael Mina

Jason Franey is the new executive chef at Juniper & Ivy restaurant in Little Italy.
(Courtesy of Juniper and Ivy)

Franey replaces Little Italy restaurant’s Anthony Wells, who is moving up to a culinary director position


Jason Franey, a chef with a cooking career at some of the nation’s top restaurants and and a shelf full of awards, has been appointed the new executive chef at Juniper and Ivy restaurant in Little Italy.

Franey, who will step into the new position at the end of June, replaces Anthony Wells, who after 4-1/2 years as executive chef is moving up to the newly created position of culinary director at the 7-year-old restaurant.

Most recently, Franey was a special projects chef and consultant for Accor Hotels, working on menu development and research and development. Before that, he spent nearly 20 years working his way through some of the nation’s top restaurant kitchens.

Franey began his career at the age of 15 in Palm Beach, Fla., starting as a line cook and advancing to chef de partie at L’Escalier, the 4-star restaurant at The Breakers Hotel. At 24, he trained under Chef Daniel Humm as executive sous chef of Campton Place in San Francisco — a mentor relationship that would span both coasts over a six-year period, eventually landing both chefs at 3-star Michelin restaurant Eleven Madison Park in New York.

In 2008, at the age of 31, Franey became executive chef of the celebrated Seattle restaurant Canlis, where during his six-year tenure, he won Food & Wine Magazine’s Best New Chef award and was a finalist for the James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef: Northwest three years in a row. In 2013, he was named a Relais & Châteaux Grand Chef, one of only 161 chefs in the world at the time to receive the culinary designation.

Juniper and Ivy restaurant in Little Italy.
(James Tran)

In 2014, Franey moved to Monterey, where he served as executive chef at Restaurant 1833, where he earned a 3.5-star review from the San Francisco Chronicle’s dining critic. In 2017, he moved to San Francisco and spent a year as executive chef at Mid-Market restaurant before joining Michael Mina’s MINA Group.

Franey said he’s excited at the opportunity to work at Juniper and Ivy and continue to evolve its culinary concept, which celebrates West Coast ingredients and cultivates relationships with regional farmers, fishermen and artisan foodmakers.

“I am very excited to have the torch from Juniper and Ivy passed to me,” Franey said in a statement. “It’s important that I complement the cuisine at Juniper and Ivy in a gentle and thoughtful manner, and I can’t wait to use the stellar product here and cultivate new relationships along the way.”

Juniper & Ivy owner Mike Rosen said he believes the best way to attract a chef like Franey is to provide an environment where chefs are given free rein.

“We are beyond thrilled to be able to attract a proven and pedigreed chef of Jason’s caliber,” Rosen said in a statement. “It did not take long for Jason to appreciate that the food coming in the back door of Juniper is a chef’s dream — as pristine as ingredients from anywhere in the world. We are looking forward to seeing where Jason leads Juniper in our continual effort to push culinary boundaries in San Diego.”