• Private Chef Franco Los Angeles
  • Asian
  • Caribbean
  • French
  • Italian
  • Spanish

Signature dish:  

Mangia, Bevi Ed Ama

About Me

Franco De Dominicis was born in a small town in Caracas, Venezuela. At age 11 Chef Franco returned to their native town of Paestum, in southern Italy with his family, a 2,600-year-old town famous for its ancient Greek and Roman archeological ruins, but also for its setting in the second biggest agricultural valley in the country.
Growing up in an Italian family in Paestum, it was only natural for Chef Franco to take to cooking at a very early age. As early as age 3 he would assist his mother making simple things as a cup of tea, by filling the kettle with water and boiling it all on his own. By 7, Chef Franco was a regular in the kitchen with his mother and grandmother and helping with family dinners and gatherings. As a child while living with his grandparents, Chef Franco learned to cultivate the land by hand, stripping the soil and planting trees such as lemons, figs, plums, peaches, tomatoes, oranges, herbs, and more. Chef Franco then was responsible for canning and bottling the fruits of his labor for the summer and winter months. To this day, Chef Franco’s respect and love of fresh ingredients show in his culinary creations in the kitchen.
In his late teens Chef Franco went to train nearby at the Accademia delle Arte Culinarie di Napoli, and later went on to complete apprenticeships in France, Spain, Germany and London.
Chef Franco first served as sous chef in San Lorenzo Restaurant at one of London’s preeminent Italian restaurants, The San Lorenzo Knightsbridge, during which time he had the honor of serving luminaries like Princess Diana, Sophia Loren and Sir Paul McCartney. In the late 1990’s Chef Franco was brought to Los Angeles by the esteemed Drago family to open Il Buco in Beverly Hills where he served as head Chef.
In August of 2000, Franco joined the prestigious Jonathan Club in Downtown Los Angeles as Executive banquet Chef, where he was able to express his creative side and feature an array of European cuisine. After the Jonathan Club, Chef Franco became the Executive Chef at the Wilshire Grand Hotel and in 2004 he became the Executive Chef of Conference and Catering for the University of Southern California.
In the last decade, Chef Franco worked at one of the most notable hotels in Los Angeles, The Biltmore Hotel. From 2005 to 2011, Chef Franco was the Executive Chef of The Biltmore where he oversaw the entire culinary department, including all outlets, banquets and their famous Afternoon High Tea.
In 2011, Chef Franco left The Biltmore Hotel to pursue his dream of opening his very own restaurant and in 2012 he did just that. On a trendy strip of Melrose Ave, Franco on Melrose, a traditional Italian trattoria, opened alongside many of LA’s most esteemed culinary restaurants. With its canopied roof top, garden like indoor setting, Neapolitan menu and an Italian-centric wine list, Franco on Melrose represents the love for food and culture of his native country. Chef Franco’s approach to traditional southern Italian cooking blends seamlessly with a distinctly Californian lifestyle through consistent use of fresh, locally-grown products, and his signature dishes reflect the cuisine of his own Amalfi coast home.
Chef Franco resides in Los Angeles with his new Newfoundland puppy, Prince. In his spare time Chef Franco enjoys the beach, crossfit, hiking, and skiing.

Recent Menus

Reviews - click review to see menu (14)

  • Franco was amazing and the meal was exceptional. I wanted a dinner for my wife's 70th birthday (she is vegentarian/gluten free) for family and a few friends at an AirBNB house that we had rented. I entertained a few offers; several were all vegan. Franco was the only one who provided the variety that would allow our vegetarians and the meat eaters to both be happy. The proposed menu looked amazing. Franco arrived at the house about 2.5 hours before the meal and began to work. The only hiccup was a blown fuse that initially prevented us from using the oven. A bit confusing since we didn't know where the fuse box was. Franco was calm throughout and assured us that it was no problem that he would adjust. (we did find the fuse box and all was well). The first course, antipasto and cheese plate was absolutely gorgeous and could have been sufficient for dinner! The rest of the dishes arrived at the designated start and were delicious and beautifully presented. Highlights were the risotto which several in our party commenting that it was the best risotto that they had ever had, the buratto, amazingly creamy and delicious and the sumptuous shortribs. The amount of food was plentiful and there was plenty to take home the next day. This meal didn't have dessert as we had a vegan/gluten free birthday cake that we had purchased separately. He was amazing, a true professional and created a meal that was delicous and very relaxed for our group. After cleaning the kitchen, he departed about an hour into the meal.

    The website could be improved. There was some confusion about payment (Venmo) and where the exact amounts were (Franco thought the website, but it was in the email, couldn't find it on the website). I also had some difficulty figuring out where to write the review. But all in all a great experience and I would use Franco again in a second. He really helped us to have a very special celebration.

    • Worked on April 20, 2024
  • Look no further, Chef Franco is your chef! I requested a Spanish feast to celebrate my husband's 40th birthday and Chef Franco not only sent through the most comprehensive Spanish menu -- he also honored my request of tapas and mains. He was very communicative throughout and was accommodating of some changes to date and number of people. All of our guests glowed with how delicious and plentiful the food was. One doesn't even like paella and couldn't stop raving about Chef Franco's seafood paella! The lamb was especially yummy as well! Chef left kitchen sparkly clean, too! I can't recommend Chef Franco enough! Book him now!

    • Worked on February 26, 2022
  • Chef Franco is exceptional! He created a Mediterranean feast for me and 10 friends, which included a huge traditional paella (with fresh lobster and other seafood), a house made Ravioli with fresh black truffle (presented in a Parmesan wheel), braised short ribs, branzino and many other delicious dishes. Every single dish was perfectly prepared and delectable, including the appetizers and side dishes. It was also incredible that he was able to prepare everything in only a couple of hours in our very small kitchen. I highly recommend Chef Franco to anyone looking for an amazing meal and experience!!

    • Worked on February 19, 2022
  • Franco provided the most incredibly delicious birthday dinner for our family of five. We enjoyed talking to him as he prepared the most memorable dinner. We would do this again in a heartbeat. Wonderful experience!

    • Worked on April 16, 2021
  • Wonderful experience overall! Chef Franco prepared a delicious meal, great presentation, everyone was satisfied and raved about the food, and he left the kitchen clean. Would definitely recommend him to others and look forward to hiring him for our next event.

    • Worked on March 19, 2021
  • To say that the dinner prepared by Chef Franco was amazing, would be a major understatement!

    Chef Franco was very professional, very personable and a pleasure to have in our home. He prepared a full on Spanish themed dinner with the main dish being a Paella Valenciana. It was, by far the most delicious paella my family and I have ever enjoyed!

    When planning the dinner for a family celebration Chef Franco listened to our wishes and fulfilled our exact requests. He showed up totally prepared and when he was done he cleaned up the entire kitchen as if nothing ever happened! Can’t say enough positive things about Chef Franco! Amazing!

    • Worked on February 27, 2021
  • Chef Franco was amazing. The food was incredible and he left the kitchen cleaner than when he arrived, dishes as well. I would highly recommend him and can't wait to use him for our next event.

    • Worked on March 27, 2021
  • Chef Franco was easy to work with. He was responsive and open to all menu ideas. The food was delicious. The menu we agreed to had most of the items from his restaurant. His presentation can slightly improve both on his entree plating as well as actually presenting the meals himself rather than the server. Understandably, this may just be his style in comparison to other chefs. That being said, our group of 10 still had a ton of fun and enjoyed our food.

    • Worked on February 13, 2021
  • I hired chef, Franco De Dominicis to surprise my wife with a private dinner on her birthday. Franco, was nothing short of amazing! He was professional, very personable, and his food...exceptional! We felt like we were eating at a five star restaurant and my wife was not only impressed with his cuisine but also the fact that he cleaned up the kitchen before leaving! I would must definitely hire him again for other special occasions and recommend him to everyone.

    • Worked on January 11, 2021
  • He was an excellent chef the food was impeccable every dish complemented the other I couldn’t have asked for a better meal plan he had those spices that made you feel like you were in Italy but also knew how to bring that modern vibe into I felt like I was in a restraint eating the best flavors down to the last bit. He was also a really good time good people sharing with me some of the history from where his flavors come from overall I’d say it was the best experience for my gf and I !

    • Worked on November 30, 2020
  • Chef Franco exceeded all of my expectations! From the very beginning, he had great menu ideas that perfectly fit the theme I was looking for and he was incredibly responsive throughout the whole process. He arrived exactly on time with all needed ingredients and tools. The timing of each course was perfect and he even surprised us with a delicious snack while we were having our cocktails which was such a treat! Each course was delicious - the roasted pear salad was so flavorful, the tortellini were cheesy and decadent, the short rib was incredibly tender and the panna cotta was silky and divine. Chef Franco also was very friendly and had a great demeanor and energy. He cleaned everything up when he was done and my kitchen was cleaner than when he began. Would 1,000% recommend Chef Franco and can’t wait to work with him again!

    • Worked on December 12, 2020
  • Our meal with Chef Franco was nothing short of lovely! We was prompt, extremely professional, and the food was incredible! My mom swears it's the best bruschetta she's ever had, and I don't think I will ever have a mushroom risotto as good again. I would highly recommend him for any at home event you are trying to host.

    • Worked on November 28, 2020
  • Chef Franco made our special wedding day extra special with his extraordinary cooking. My wife and I were hoping to organize an intimate lunch for friends and family for our elopement style wedding in Beverly Hills, and the chef left no stone unturned to make it a memorable one.

    Chef Franco worked with me 2 days before the wedding to make great food recommendations and finalize the menu, suggested amazing wine options and clearly chalked out all the kitchen requirements. He even went an extra mile to get on a FaceTime call with me to look at the kitchen and the utensils to make sure we are all set for the day.

    On the wedding day, Chef Franco and his assistant Alex arrived on time, followed COVID guidelines completely and took full responsibility of setting up the dining table, and the table for the cake cutting ceremony and the champagne toast.

    I can say with full confidence that each guest LOVED every item cooked by the chef. The crunchy Pear Salad was a perfect start. Butternut Squash Ravioli was HEAVEN. I am not a big fan of eggplant, but the chef successfully changed my opinion with delicious Baked Eggplant and Zucchini Parmesan. And, last but definitely not the least - the flavorful Panna Cotta was delectable.

    Besides the delicious food, what I really liked about the Chef Franco and his assistant Alex is that they made sure that neither I nor my wife have to worry about the dining experience of the guests. We were served perfectly plated 4 course meal. They left the kitchen shining clean before leaving. My wife and I were able to focus on the special moments of the wedding in its true sense.

    I highly recommend Chef Franco for any celebration or even a perfect fancy meal at home.

    • Worked on October 19, 2020
  • Chef Franco was amazing! He and his assistant Alex showed up on time and got to business right away. He made a delicious meal for us all from scratch!
    They left our kitchen clean and spotless.
    He was very responsive to all my text massages as well. Thank you so much chef Franco for a beautiful night. I would definitely hire him again.

    • Worked on October 17, 2020