Wood Stone Sales Team
Frank MilwardCorporate Chef and Sales Support
Life - Born to a humble hard working family in Spokane Washington. Raised in part by my father whose specialties included Spanish rice, spam, canned peas and impeccable honesty. Childhood joys included climbing trees, trips to Odessa, WA for dinner at Aunt Della's or Aunt Claudine's where, regardless of age, left feeling like Kings and Queens.
- To treat all people like royalty
- My family
- To cook on stone hearth in front of open flame
- To give back what I've been so graciously given
Career - Dream, Live, Eat! Oh the things you can learn in the Hospitality Industry. Since 1980 this world has been my school ground. Opportunity, challenges, hard work. The 80's were spent learning the business from the busser up. A couple of great hotel experiences; Seattle Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn Livermore where I learned important lessons on what or who I didn't want to be (ever). Early 90's onto being part of Seattle's Chandlers Crab house and Elliott's Oyster House where I learned so much about loving people and food. Thank you to our staff and so many wonderful guests that helped move restaurant life from just a job to an honorable profession.
1994 - In 1994 I helped open Orchard Street Brewery in Bellingham, WA. Opening Orchard Street was an eye opening experience that introduced our region to stone hearth, wood-fired cooking. We were not pizzeria folks; we were sit down dining experience people. Why a wood-fired Wood Stone? It was cheap, $25,000 for a kitchen that was both beautiful and capable of consistently producing stunning food for our 70 seats. I can't tell you that we weren't desperate in the beginning, what were we doing? Our early desperation turned quickly to passion and local excitement; you couldn't stand in a Bellingham grocery line without hearing great things about our serious little restaurant. Thank you Bellingham, every dedicated hard working restaurant should get to experience what you shared, at least once.
1996 - How did I end up at Wood Stone? I ran into Keith Carpenter at Home Depot. Wood Stone was growing and Keith wanted to talk about an opportunity. In 1996 I took the biggest chance in my career and went to work for Keith and Harry at Wood Stone as a sales person. The rewards for this decision have not stopped and probably won't until I do. After years of managing in the restaurant business the kitchen beckoned, this oven, an irresistible force, its connection to history. After a day of making and baking 'The bread of life' with Wood Stone Chef Mike Brockman, I was hooked and haven't looked back for a moment.
Today - Years later I have hours under my belt of learning and sharing with hundreds of Wood Stone test kitchen guests. I'm still thrilled to see our guest's excitement and hear that the food is different and special.
Chef Frank, "Do you want to be a better cook or share a special experience with your guest, add a Wood Stone to your kitchen."