Q&A: Frank McClelland of L'Espalier


Having just celebrated his 30th year helming the kitchen at L’Espalier, it’s safe to say that Frank McClelland, who also owns the restaurant, is a seasoned pro. The New Hampshire native was cooking farm-to-table cuisine eons before it was a buzzword, and since buying L’Espalier from its original owners in 1988, he’s been lauded for shaping the genre to reflect New England. In that time McClelland has also mentored some of the city’s rising star chefs in his kitchen, from Alex Crabb of Asta to Daniel Bojorquez of La Brasa. While they’ve moved on, McClelland can still be found on the kitchen line at his Boylston Street spot night after night, setting the standard for haute prix fixe dining.

Favorite dish:

A guinea hen with smoked bacon and braising greens—or any game bird with that combination.

Desert island spice:


Kitchen playlist:

Silence is golden. There’s no playlist because I don’t want the team to be distracted.

Favorite food destination:

New Orleans. That city has soul and grit—and it definitely comes through in the cuisine.

Cooking inspiration:

To move people’s souls and give them the most memorable experience.

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