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Meet the Chef: Antonio Friscia

Instagram: @antoniofrisciaChef Antonio Friscia

Age: 49

Restaurant(s): Fireside by The Patio

One of San Diego’s most beloved and highly-regarded chefs, Antonio Friscia has more than 25 years of restaurant experience. He has been chef-partner at several local high-profile projects including the acclaimed Stingaree Nightclub & Guest House, Gaijin Noodle & Sake House, Campine: A Culinary & Cocktail Conspiracy, Don Chido and Rustic Root. Under his own Legal Restaurants brand, he now oversees all operations at Fireside by The Patio (open March 2016), the new globally inspired woodfire and charcoal-driven concept owned by The Patio Group.

Friscia’s culinary training began at an early age while working for his family at the fish market in San Francisco’s celebrated North Beach Italian community. Since then he has drawn creative inspiration from his world travels, elevating his craft to deliver a complete sensory experience for his restaurants. While each endeavor highlights a unique expression of his culinary savvy, Friscia’s true passion lies in working alongside his comrades in a way that allows each to evolve beyond the walls of their respective restaurants to bring the best of their offerings to guests.

Q: Why did you become a chef?

A: I love food and taking care of people! And I’m hungry most of the day.

Q: What is your signature dish?

A: Depends on the weather… but I love using tuna belly, white truffles and uni.

Q: Where do you get your culinary inspiration?

A: Seasonal change, traveling, eating, reading and dreaming… it’s endless.

Q: Top three favorite restaurants in San Diego?

A: Ken Sushi Workshop, Thai Papaya (Sab-e-lee), Buona Forchetta

Q:  What do you cook when you’re at home?

A: Breakfast for my boys, sukiyaki on Sunday.

Q: Go-to comfort food?

A: Pasta al Pomodoro e basilico + parmigiano reggiano

Q: Chocolate or vanilla?

A: Coconut.

Q: Top five favorite ingredients to cook with? 

A: Fresh local fish, green garlic, semolina (pasta), organic vegetables & good olive oil.

Q: Go-to kitchen tool?

A: I guess my go-to kitchen tool would be my kitchen knife. Sorry, I’m old school.

Q: Biggest cooking-related pet peeve?

A: Cold plate with hot food! Hot plate with cold food!

Q: What food trend do you wish would go away?

A: Foam.

Q: Culinary school. Required to be a good chef?

A: Nope! Business or Psychology degree would be more practical.

Q: Any advice for aspiring chefs?

A: Work organized and clean. Love what you do or please don’t do it.

Q: If Hollywood made a chef movie about your life, who would play you?

A: Seth Rogan.

Q: Something people would be surprised to learn about you?

A: I practice hot yoga.

Chef Antonio Friscia, (right), with Catalina Offshore's Tommy Gomes (center) and longtime culinary right hand, Chef Fern Tran
Chef Antonio Friscia (right) with Catalina Offshore’s Tommy Gomes and Chef Fern Tran, a longtime player on Friscia’s trusted culinary team.





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