Chef Franklin Becker: A Culinary Journey from Brooklyn to Point Seven

A Story of Passion, Perseverance and Giving Back
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A Brooklyn Childhood and a Lifelong Culinary Passion

From humble beginnings in Brooklyn, helping his ailing mother in the kitchen, Franklin Becker's culinary journey has been nothing short of extraordinary. In my recent conversation with him, Becker recounted how these early experiences ignited his passion for cooking, which later became his medium for celebrating family, friends, and cherished moments.

Navigating the Waters from Chef to Entrepreneur

Over three decades, Chef Becker has left an indelible mark on New York City's culinary landscape. His stints at iconic restaurants such as Catch and Capitale have garnered him accolades and recognition, including being named a Star Chef Rising Star. He was also a contestant on Bravo's "Top Chef Masters." Transitioning from a chef to an entrepreneur wasn't devoid of challenges, from construction hurdles to managing restaurant operations. Yet, with establishments like The Little Beet and The Manhattanville Market Food Hall under his belt, it's evident that Becker has navigated these waters with aplomb.

Point Seven: Celebrating the Earth's Aquatic Bounty

The most recent venture from Becker and Stephen Loffredo’s Hospitality Department is Point Seven. Situated in the iconic MetLife Building, this seafood-centric restaurant stands as a testament to Becker's commitment to sustainability and authentic cooking. Inspired by global coastal cuisines, the menu at Point Seven showcases diverse seafood preparations, marrying techniques with flavors from different countries. From indulgent luxuries like Live Scallop Ceviche to innovative dining experiences like "Sushi Unrolled," Point Seven promises a gastronomic journey like no other.

An Ocean of Inspiration: Behind the Point Seven Menu

Becker shared with me the philosophy behind his dishes at Point Seven. The name itself, representing the 70% of the earth covered in water, emphasizes the restaurant's theme of celebrating aquatic bounty. The dishes range from a Caribbean fish stew with Dominican flavors (but employing French techniques) to an interactive dining experience where diners can create their own sushi hand rolls. In true Becker style, the menu at Point Seven evolves based on the availability of seasonal products.

The Importance of Teamwork and Mentorship in Culinary Arts

Throughout our conversation, Becker continually emphasized the significance of collaboration, mentorship, and teamwork. From key members of his team, like Kevin Garcia and Dan Drohan, to his collaborations with industry stalwarts like Stephen Loffredo, it's evident that Becker values the power of collective effort. He believes that mentorship plays a pivotal role in the culinary world, and he takes immense pride in having mentored several chefs who've achieved notable success.

“So I was funding the team out of my own pocket during the pandemic to keep my people together. Because when you have lightning in a bottle, you really want to take advantage of it and you have to do everything in your power.” Franklin Becker

Giving Back: A Culinary Maestro with a Heart

Beyond the kitchen, Becker is passionate about giving back to the community. Inspired by his son's journey with autism, he created the charity "Autism Speaks to Wall Street, Celebrity Chef Gala." For Becker, being a chef transcends the boundaries of the kitchen. It's about being a mentor, a leader, and a beacon of hope for many.

Having delved deep into Chef Franklin Becker's world, from his childhood inspirations to his latest culinary ventures, one thing remains clear: his passion for the culinary arts is unwavering. As a host and a culinary enthusiast myself, I am continually inspired by figures like Becker, who not only redefine the culinary landscape but also remind us of the power of passion, perseverance, and giving back.

Shrimp Chaufa (Peruvian Fried Rice) Point Seven, Chef Franklin Becker

Photo Credit: Ken Goodman

Ingredients

2 oz sunflower oil

1 gram garlic, chopped

1 gram ginger, chopped

5 grams seasoning mix

12 oz jasmine rice, cooked, refrigerated  

3 oz chaufa sauce

4 oz shrimp, chopped

28 grams scallions, chopped

1 oz aji amarillo

1 oz scrambled egg

Method

  1. Heat oil till lightly smoking in a wok.

  2. Add the cold rice and toast. 

  3. Add the ginger and garlic.

  4. Add the seasoning mix.

  5. Add the shrimp.

  6. Add the chaufa sauce and the Aji Amarillo.

  7. Add the scrambled egg and the scallions and serve.

For the Jasmine Rice

  1. Pre-cook 4 oz jasmine rice according to directions on the bag in a rice cooker.

  2. Lay out the rice to cool in the refrigerator overnight.

For the seasoning mix

  • 20 g kosher salt

  • 20 g sugar

  • 10 g chicken bouillon base

  • 10 g mushroom bouillon base

For the chaufa sauce

  • 200 g low sodium soy

  • 38 g agave

  • ½ g calabrian chili flakes

  • 1 g cumin, ground

  • ½ g coriander, ground

  • 10 g oyster sauce

  • 13 g bulgogi sauce

  • 8 g fresh ginger, chopped

  • 20 g fresh garlic, chopped

Method: Blend together till smooth.

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Lisa Pepe