Francis Casciato

Executive Chef
Francis Casciato

Master of award-winning restaurant openings, Chef Francis "Fran" Casciato, joined the Seidensticker team as Executive Chef for Libby's Café + Bar in fall 2008, to lead Libby's Café + Bar's opening in October 2008 and head up the popular, award-winning restaurant's culinary team and creative comfort food menu development.
 
Casciato hailed from DeVito South Beach, where he led the hugely successful opening of this famed restaurant and a favorite of Hollywood celebrities and VIPS. In addition, he headed up the opening teams for other award-winning Florida restaurants, including Maxaluna Tuscan Grill, an Esquire magazine top new restaurant in the South; Prezzo, named Best New Restaurant in Florida in 1987; and in Boca Raton, Max's Grill and Opus 5, which was honored with a Best New Restaurant in South Florida designation by Florida Trend magazine in 2007.
 
Background and training
Born and raised in South Philadelphia, Casciato comes from a large Italian American family and grew up surrounded by a houseful of Italian cooks, including his Pennsylvania Dutch mother, who learned the tools of the Italian cooking trade from Casciato's aunts.
 
After attending a Jesuit college in Wheeling, WVa., where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Management, Casciato had the opportunity to play soccer professionally and went to Europe to try out. “I was totally out of my league,” he said. “The only other thing I really knew and enjoyed was food and cooking. It (cooking) also had a lot of the same qualities as team sports, in that everyone needs to work together for a successful outcome. So I decided to take that path,” he added.
 
Casciato then attended the Philadelphia Restaurant School at the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned an Associates Degree in Restaurant Management. Upon graduation, he accepted a position with Unique Restaurant Concepts, where he met and earned the respect of restaurant venture capitalists that provided him with an opportunity to lead the opening team of a new restaurant, Maxaluna Tuscan Grill, which upon opening garnered an Esquire magazine top new restaurant honor.

Restaurant:
Cuisine:American Cuisine, New American, Wine Bar and Bistro,