With a career spanning more than 30 years, Chef Frank has delighted critics, hotel guests, and customers with his delectable Pan-Asian dishes. Hailing from a small town called Krefeld in West Germany, he earned his stripes working in different professional restaurants, ranging from Spanish, Mediterranean and Italian cuisine in Germany and The Caribbean before finally settling down in New York.
Chef Frank has cooked in the chaotic but revered hotel kitchens of the Big Apple, working as Executive Chef for 10 years in 4-star Japanese boutique hotel Kitano on prestigious Park Avenue and Executive Chef at Hilton. His menu has been featured in the Best 100 Restaurant Menus in NYC and he has been named Best NY Hotel Chef Of The Year by the America Tasting Institute. He has cooked for athletes, celebrities and VIPs, like Maria Sharapova, Roger Federer, Star Jones, the Japanese Princess and many more.
Today, Chef Frank is the culinary genius behind Eat Like A Vegan Chef. As a vegan chef, he has cooked for two world champion boxers, proving once and for all that a plant-based diet has a rightful place on the dinner table.
My father was a hardworking mechanic who had his own repair shop with a gas station. He wanted me to become a mechanic like he was. While I spent the weekends helping him, little did he know that my passion was heading in a different direction.
My mother was an avid home cook with superb cooking and baking abilities. She learned her skills from my dad's mom, whom I adored. I spent many weekends with my grandmother, watching her cooking and baking.
Being around such great cooks is what inspired me to bake my first cake at the age of 13.
My father saw the passion for cooking and baking in me, yet he fought hard for me to consider to become a mechanic. In the end, he gave up and sent me to culinary school.
After finishing my apprenticeship at a classic French restaurant, I spent the next few years working in different restaurants, ranging from Spanish, Mediterranean and Italian cuisine. Then I was called for duty to serve in the German Military for the Navy Seals.
Once I had finished my military time, I was hired as sous chef at L’auberge de Paris in Antigua. Seeing the slow-paced life there, the Caribbean people made me understand and value of every human being. I learned how to understand life itself within the environment. This was the first encounter that would lead me to where I am today as a vegan chef.
While in the Caribbean, I met the love of my life, my wife, Denise, whom I share two of the biggest blessings of all, my sons, Christopher and Benjamin. I eventually moved to Germany while waiting for my green card to be with my young family, I opened a hotel restaurant for Grupo Sol Melia. It was during this time that I was trained in Spanish cuisine by two five-star chefs from Spain for the next three months.
Soon, I came to the land of possibilities— New York. It was and still is such a heart-pounding city. I became an Executive Chef at Kitano, a 4-star Japanese boutique hotel on Park Avenue, where I introduced a new cuisine, my award-winning Pan-Asian menu.
Since I came to the US, I realized the enormous amount of energy we use on a daily basis. How unsustainable we all live. The food we hastily eat on our lunch break. Most people are eating to survive, instead of eating to nourish our bodies.
Carrying these realizations with me, my family received the news no one wants to hear. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. She eventually beat the cancer, but the mental scars never went away. Five years later, she was diagnosed with early Alzheimer’s.
It was then I realized many of my family members also suffered from high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and strokes. I could only think about my genes and that of my sister. What if this was a warning to change our diet…?
I realized in order to stay healthy, I had to change my diet. I read one nutrition book after another to see what would work for me. I tried David Asprey’s Bulletproof diet, Paleo, and even Dr. David Perlmutter's “the Grain Brain” diet.
When I investigated the benefits of a plant-based diet, I learned it isn’t a diet, but a lifestyle. And because of my desire to become a plant-based expert, I hold a plant-based nutrition certificate from the Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies at Cornell.
As long as you eat whole foods, you never have to count calories. I also discovered it’s environmentally friendly. In fact, it’s the most sustainable way to feed the world.
This is when I realized I have to live by example. I found my true purpose as a chef. If I can inspire as many people as possible to eat a plant-based diet, I’d be happy!
“I’m passionate about helping people. Taking my 30 years of professional cooking and the knowledge I gained through reading hundreds of nutrition books, I can definitely make a difference in someone's life.”