Over the past two years we have witnessed so much growth in our business, especially in our Kitchen and Bakery Department! We have seen so many new meals, all of which hand made here, by some amazing new faces! Along with our Head Chef Ian and Sous Chef Kevin, our other Sous Chef, Frank Connors, comes with quite the experience, having started in the industry when he was still in high school.
Frank attended Emmett O’Brien Tech School in Ansonia, where he focused on culinary arts. He got into cooking out of necessity. Having parents who worked 2nd and 3rd shift jobs, he knew that working in a restaurant would keep him busy and fed. He got a job as a dishwasher that lasted 3 days. The prep cook had quit so he was thrown into this new roll. Once in this role, his enthusiasm grew and his true passion came from trying to make different and new things. He took a job at Rapp’s Paradise Inn in Ansonia for a year, until his high school chef reached out to get him into Oak Lane Country Club in Woodbridge. He remained there until after graduation, when he took a position as a seafood line cook at Gennaro’s Restuarant on State Street in New Haven.
Frank stayed at Gennaro’s over a little over a year. He then took a job at Brookside Inn in Oxford and stayed for 16 years! He grew within this family run business, knowing the ins and outs and capable of running the business himself. “I loved working for a family business and felt like a part of the family myself,” says Frank. “If they hadn’t closed and moved away from Oxford, I would have stayed forever!” When his stint at Brookside ended, he became a part of the opening crew for GW Carson’s in Branford. He trained the opening crew and spent two years as their line cook, before moving on to a new adventure.
Frank’s friends were opening Entray on the shoreline and they wanted him to take charge as the head chef. Entray was built around homemade prepared meals, but unfortunately did not last long. When the business fell under, he moved on to Madison Beach Hotel where he was a Sous Chef for over 6 years. When the pandemic hit, the restaurant closed and when they finally reopened, he felt it no longer the right fit for him anymore. After deciding to move on and taking some time off, he found his way to Bishop’s Orchards!
As a newer member of the Department, he is excited to bring new ideas and recipes to the table, lending a helping hand to all. His favorite dish, and has been since he was six, is pizza. He has worked cooking with all cuisines, but he loves cooking all cuisines especially those different and unique like Asian Cuisine. Through his variety of experiences, he has come to know one thing… that experiencing failure helps to make the highlights stand out that much more. “I love being back in a family run business again, especially right after leaving the corporate field. They just understand it and help you make the balance possible.”
With over 27 years of experience, we are so honored to have Frank a part of our establishments. Be on the look out for more of his famous dishes, still to make their way into the Farm Market. In the meantime, you can probably find him cruising around Branford with his wife and step daughter… and their Pomeranian Oaklee.
“COVID hitting and changing my direction was difficult, but maybe the best thing that could have happened. Having daytime hours instead of evenings in the restaurant gives my family more time together. We all got to know each other again and reconstruct our family dynamic.”