Franco Names Jon Dreja Executive Chef

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Franco (1535 South Eighth Street; 314-435-2500) announced last week that Jon Dreja is the restaurant's new executive chef. He replaces Kris Janik, who took over the Franco kitchen from Chris Williams in April of this year.

"We're really excited about it," says Franco owner Tom Schmidt tells Gut Check about the change, which was first reported by Evan Benn of the Post-Dispatch.

Dreja comes to Franco from Vin de Set (2017 Chouteau Avenue; 314-241-8989), where he was executive sous chef.

Schmidt doesn't foresee Dreja making wholesale changes to Franco's French bistro cuisine: "We're always going to stay true to who we are at Franco."

However, he adds, "Jon's going to start focusing on things we focused on [more] in the past" such as making the charcuterie that the restaurant uses in-house and bringing in and breaking down whole animals.