Growing up in Massachusetts, Amanda Lydon spent every summer with her family on Nantucket. The summer after her freshman year at Harvard, where she studied English and American literature, she wandered into one of her favorite restaurants on the island, Straight Wharf Restaurant, and took a job there as a daytime prep cook. Back at Harvard, Lydon worked part-time in the kitchen of Upstairs at the Pudding, like so many of Harvard’s English majors. The work was far from intellectual, but she found it more challenging than anything else she’d ever done before.

After graduating from college, Lydon earned a scholarship to Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and received a crash course in classic French cuisine and technique. Returning to Boston, she took a kitchen position at Chez Henri, where she not only had an opportunity to work under Chef Paul O’Connell, but she also met fellow cook and soul mate Gabriel Frasca. Together Lydon and Frasca took off for Europe. Their first stop was Provence and an apprenticeship at the Michelin two-star L’abbaye de Saint Croix. Next was an awe-inspiring stage with Spanish phenom Martin Berasetegui in San Sebastien, an experience that has continued to inspire her for many years. Returning to Boston, Lydon completed stints in the kitchens of some of the hottest spots in town, including Truc, Radius, and Upstairs on the Square, where she was co-Executive Chef with Susan Regis. Most recently, she has been at the helm of Ten Tables in Jamaica Plain. At Ten Tables, whose name aptly describes its size and intimacy, Lydon collaborates with an equally compact staff to offer original French/American cuisine based on local, organic ingredients. The vibe is warm and inviting, as if you’ve walked into a fabulous dinner party at home with family and close friends.

Amanda’s career has come full circle. For her next culinary adventure she has teamed up with Gabriel Frasca again, this time as co-Executive Chefs at Straight Wharf Restaurant. Together they will bring their world-class experience to bear on the seasonal New England menu of this summertime favorite.



Gabriel Frasca began cooking in Boston’s North Shore kitchens at the age of 15, but attended college to pursue journalism as a first career. A semester off and a good deal of luck changed his professional plans. In 1994, a 20-year-old Frasca landed a position under James Beard Award winner Gordon Hamersley at Hamersley’s Bistro in Boston’s South End. Exposed for the first time to the world of fine-dining and French cooking, Frasca put writing on the back burner.

In 1996 Frasca took a position at Chez Henri in Cambridge, where he worked under critically acclaimed chef Paul O’Connell. In the kitchen of Chez Henri Frasca met Amanda Lydon. In the spring of 1997, Frasca and Lydon moved to Provence and together entered an apprenticeship at the Michelin two-star L’abbaye de Saint Croix.

With a healthy dose of classic French technique under his belt, Frasca moved to the culinary mecca of San Sebastian, Spain. There, working under three-star chef Martin Berasategui, he learned classic Basque cooking as well as the cutting-edge ingredient pairings and avant garde aesthetic that made Berasategui an international star.

Frasca’s next stop on his European tour found him in northern Italy’s Dolomites where he helped chef Norbert Neiderkofler earn his first Michelin star at St. Hubertus. It was here that Frasca met four-star American chef David Bouley, who invited Frasca to help open his next restaurant, Danube, in New York. Frasca moved to Manhattan in the spring of 1999 and helped Bouley Bakery earn four stars from The New York Times before launching Danube, a restaurant that received three stars of its own and was named “No. 1 Newcomer” in the New York Zagat Survey.

In 2000 Frasca returned home to Boston and accepted his first head chef position. Working with old friend Seth Woods, Frasca opened Aquitaine Bis and was recognized as Boston’s ”2001 Rising Star” chef by The Improper Bostonian. With his clean, inventive style honed, Frasca next headed downtown to work with Radius chef Michael Schlow. As Radius’ first-ever chef de cuisine, Frasca was responsible for managing the kitchen staff and put his signature on one of the country’s best restaurant menus. With Frasca in charge of the kitchen, Radius earned Boston Magazine’s “Best Overall Restaurant” award, and Gourmet magazine named it one of the “Top 25 Restaurants in the Country.”

Frasca joined Spire as executive chef in November 2003, where he offered inventive ingredient-driven cuisine with influences from France, Spain, Portugal and Italy. He was recently named “Best Chef, Up and Coming” by Boston Magazine and was awarded three-stars by Boston Globe food critic Alison Arnett.

Beginning the next phase of his exciting culinary career, Frasca and Lydon have signed on as co-Executive Chefs of Straight Wharf Restaurant in Nantucket, MA, set to open Memorial Day weekend, 2006.






Photo Gallery


Hall of Fame

Who Benefits

Contact Us

Vintner Dinners

Press Releases:

2015 Save the Date!

Boca Bacchanal Overview Release 2015