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Pleasanton’s New Eco-Chef

The Philadelphia-born Francis X. Hogan started working in restaurants when he was 14 and continued to work in them all through college and beyond. “It’s what I know—all I know. I can’t see myself doing anything else,” the well-traveled 34-year-old says.

Surely, his biggest challenge is creating small-plate tapas for Pleasanton’s Sabio on Main restaurant, slated to open this summer. As executive chef and co-owner, Hogan will incorporate his knowledge of Europe, Latin America and Asia in his tempting creations. His time at Zanzibar Blue Jazz Club and Restaurant, Farallon, Hawthorne Lane and Bluestem Brasserie has prepared him for his newest venture.

To get ready for Sabio, co-owner Jim McDonnell arranged for Hogan to spend two weeks learning from and working with chefs in Spain.

Hogan will implement a sustainable philosophy in every facet of the business from how the food is acquired to the restaurant’s cleaning supplies. Sabio is being developed as a nose-to-tail restaurant, so nothing will go to waste. “We’ll be acquiring whole animals from local farms, where the animals are raised humanely,” he explains. Hogan has already set up visits in September for his staff to see the source.

Although he will try to purchase organic vegetables and fruits when possible, he adds, “It really comes down to taste.”

In addition to his locally sourced ingredients, his debut menu will feature shrimp, halibut and squid ceviche; saffron rice and seafood croquetas; and wagyu beef tartare in lettuce wraps.

For a tasting preview, Chef Hogan will be giving a sampling of his work at Taste Our Terroir in July, where Sabio is paired with Los Positas Winery to compete against other local chefs and vintners in the Tri-Valley.