Frank McClelland's initial interest in cooking began while growing up on his grandparents' gentleman's farm in New Hampshire. Throughout the years, this interest grew to become a passion and a career as one of New England's and the nation's master chefs. The summation of his love of local ingredients, along with classical French training and an edge for perfection, is reflected in the cuisine he has created at L'Espalier.
The time spent on the family farm in New Hampshire provided McClelland with a mastery of time-honored traditions like pickling, canning, breadbaking, and preparing sorbets from fresh fruit purees. Today, McClelland grows fresh herbs, rare fruits and vegetables on his rooftop and meticulously selects seafood, meats and game from the best purveyors in the region. In the kitchen, as well as in the dining room, he is known for his pursuit of perfection and a love for what he does.
By the age of 26, McClelland had already been a chef in two of the most respected local kitchens -- The Harvest in Cambridge and L'Espalier. In 1984, he became Executive Chef at The Country Inn at Princeton in western Massachusetts where he evolved his personal style of cooking. Here, he earned a four-star rating from The Boston Globe as well as being named one of the country's top 25 new chefs by Food & Wine. In 1986, McClelland returned to L'Espalier as Executive Sous Chef. Within two years, McClelland and his wife Catherine purchased the restaurant, thus fulfilling a lifelong dream.
Since the McClelland's purchase in 1988, L'Espalier has evolved into a nationally recognized restaurant. In 1992, it became the first restaurant in New England to receive four stars from The Boston Globe food critic Alison Arnett. L'Espalier was named one of the best restaurants in the country by Conde Nast Traveler's 1995 Readers Restaurant Poll. AAA awarded L'Espalier with Four Diamonds and Money magazine rated L'Espalier as one of the top three restaurants in Boston. Recently, the restaurant received the number-one rating for food in the 1998 Zagat Boston Restaurant Survey and received the coveted Four-Star Award from the 1998 Mobil Travel Guide. Boston Magazine gave L'Espalier a "Best of Boston" award, and Nation's Restaurant News inducted L'Espalier into its Fine Dining Hall of Fame.
The McClellands have three children, Keppler, Annie and James. They are accompanied on all family outings by Agnes, their trusty Chocolate Labrador Retriever.
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