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Behind The FK Kitchen | Chef Frank Parhizgar’s Path to Success

Photos courtesy of FK

Chef Frank Parhizgar

Courtesy of FK

In the kitchen with Toronto’s humble, rock star Chef, Frank Parhizgar.

Renowned chefs have propelled restaurant’s reputations to new heights, in turn, evolving Toronto’s restaurant scene into a culinary mecca. Among those who have been raising the bar while weathering the ride, is Shawn Cooper and Frank Parhizgar the husband-wife power couple who, after opening Frank’s Kitchen in 2010 in Little Italy, moved further north in 2018, and rebranded Frank’s Kitchen as FK, a lovely, sundrenched nook in Toronto’s chic Wychwood Park neighborhood.

FK has enticed several celebrities over the years, including Samuel L. Jackson, Rachel McAdams and even hometown favorite, Drake. But for Cooper and Parhizgar, their impressive wall of fame takes the back seat to their commitment to unrivaled hospitality and dynamic dishes. 

Food from FK

Chef Frank Parhizgar started his culinary training in Lyon, France followed by employment at Jean-Georges in New York. By the time chef Frank Parhizgar turned 30, he became the head chef at Centro, an old school Italian power restaurant. 


Later in life, chef Frank Parhizgar took the leap and opened Frank’s Kitchen, maintaining his dedication for sourcing sustainable, seasonal ingredients, and executing exceptional French-inspired fare. 

“I’ve been privileged to work, helm and be mentored by the best chefs in Toronto, France, Italy and New York. I’ve always had great passion and determination to be better,” says Parhizgar.

Chef Frank Parhizgar pursues his goals full tilt resulting in an insatiable thirst for knowledge and a hunger for accomplishment. These motivators inspire him to embark on grand, annual projects. Chef Frank Parhizgar recently became a Sommelier, elevating FK’s wine list and earning the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence in 2022 and 2023. 

Sure, he may be a rock star on Toronto’s restaurant stage, but his humble nature always prevails. Since 2023, chef Frank Parhizgar has received the Gold award at Canada’s Great Kitchen Party competition and FK has become both a Michelin Guide Recommended and DiRōNA awarded restaurant. 


Any accolades we receive is essentially a ‘by product’ of us trying to achieve excellence,” Parhizgar says. 

“Frank has a genuine desire to please people, making him who he is both as a person, and a Chef,” Cooper adds. 

Chef Frank Parhizgar believes that he’s only one small piece of the bigger puzzle of food production and the restaurant industry, opting to put his team before himself, including farmers, vintners and artisans. “I’m fascinated, and far more interested in the people who make the ingredients,” he says. 

FK’s ingredients are locally sourced, the pork comes from St. Jacobs, Ontario, a small hamlet in Mennonite Country one hour west of Toronto, milk for his cheese making comes from Hewitt’s, a nearby dairy producer founded in 1887, while flour is sourced from Arva Flour Mills, Canada’s oldest flour mill dating back to 1819. “I’ve been making my own bread every day by hand for 15 years,” Parhizgar says. 

The success of FK doesn’t fall on chef Frank Parhizgar alone, Cooper’s front of house expertise, effortlessly gliding from table to table, welcoming and engaging diners is a refreshing nicety that illustrates the charming and interactive character of FK. A loyal clientele is complimented by an equally loyal staff, many of whom have been with the brand for 15 years. Meanwhile the perfectly harmonious dining experience is accentuated in the back, where chef Frank Parhizgar speaks through his food, connecting his guests with one mouth-watering bite after another.  

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