Known for its mouthwatering steaks and refined casual vibes, Frank’s Chophouse is a delicious place to dine in Boulder no matter the time of day (they also do brunch!).
The restaurant, opened by long-time restaurateur Frank Day and his wife Gina in 2020 at 921 Walnut Street, recently unveiled its new spring menu and introduced a new executive chef, Lucas Gilbreath. We sat down with Gilbreath to learn more about his background and what motivates him as a chef.
What first got you interested in food and cooking?
I was first introduced to the restaurant industry at age 12, when my parents opened a restaurant. I spent my afternoons there as a child and quickly fell in love with the atmosphere. Restaurants have always felt like home.
When did you realize you wanted this to be your profession?
I’ve remained in the industry since I began at my parents’ restaurant when they first opened. It wasn’t until I moved to Boulder and began working at Spruce Farm and Fish that I truly began thinking of cooking as a career. This is when I genuinely learned to appreciate the quality of good food and the joy it brought to others.
Can you share a brief overview of your career trajectory?
I had worked in many restaurants prior to Frank’s Chophouse. Under all the chefs I worked for, I learned from all of my superiors equally. I always felt inspired regardless of if it was from negative or positive examples from my leaders. I have experienced secondhand what it is like to be successful or to fail. I know I thrive in the uncertainty of the industry. From being a child watching my parents live out their dreams to an adult with a family, I have savored every moment of excelling in this industry.
What are your sources of inspiration for the dishes and menu items you create? What’s your approach to developing recipes/dishes?
My inspiration comes from curiosity and my desire to learn. I always try to do something new that I haven’t tried before, or take things I’ve tried and spin them to make them more innovative and modern.
What are you most passionate about, personally and professionally?
It is my desire to excel and provide for my family. I want to be an inspiration to others and most importantly my son. I love the comfort food brings to others and that a community that can be built over a plate of good food. Food is a way I can express myself and share myself with others.
What do you love about Boulder and why? What drew you here/kept you here?
As a Colorado native, I’ve always known Boulder was a culinary hub. My mom and brother moved here, which gave me the opportunity to visit and was able to experience it for myself. Boulder presented me with the opportunity to be more creative and build my career in a place where my individuality would be truly appreciated.