Chef Dan Sung (Culinary ’01) is from California: I grew up in the Midwest. He attended International Culinary Center’s Professional Culinary Arts program in New York and worked in California. I went to college in New England but attend ICC in Campbell, California. Dan is an artist; I am a lawyer. In so many ways, Dan and I are opposites, and that’s what makes us work.
While a student at ICC in California, I interned at the Village Pub, a Michelin starred restaurant in Woodside, California. It was at the Village Pub that I met Dan. Dan was working as Sous Chef there. I was impressed with his command of the kitchen and his great relationship with the chefs working the line. What impressed me the most was his ability to make the most delicious food.
As the intern, I mostly chopped and blanched vegetables. One day I graduated to chopping fruit and while I was slicing peaches I struck up a chat with Dan. Earlier I had learned that Dan had been working at the Village Pub for nearly 10 years- in the restaurant world this seemed like many lifetimes. So I asked what he was going to do with the rest of his life. Dan’s response was, “I don’t know, I just want to make hot dogs.”
What I learned later was that Dan truly has turned the hot dog into a beautiful work of art. Not only does he make the most amazing hot dogs and sausages from scratch, but tops the francs, with amazing seasonal ingredients using techniques found at the finest restaurants.
After my internship was over, I asked Dan if he’d like to be partners in a hot dog venture. I know he was nervous at first- and rightly so! But soon we found that opposites attract! We make the best team because we bring such different ideas and experience to the table.
Early this month we launched the Chez Franc Food Truck serving fine hot dogs in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties in California. In November, we’ll be opening our own brick and mortar restaurant in Palo Alto! The restaurant is currently under construction, but should be finished in a month or so.