Chef Frank Proto is the director of culinary operations at the Institute of Culinary Education

Frank Proto

Director of Culinary Operations

"As a chef you are always a mentor to your staff and I hope to be a great teacher and a solid mentor to all of my students."


Growing up on Long Island in an Italian family, Chef Frank Proto learned to love food at an early age. "In the fall our family would make dry sausages, tomato paste and wine," he says. This love of food led Chef Frank to Nassau Community College to study restaurant management, as well the Culinary Institute of America, where he studied culinary arts.

After graduation, Chef Frank worked for Drew Nieporent at Tribeca Grill and Chef Joe Fortunato at Layla, a Middle Eastern restaurant. It was while working with Joe that he met Marc Murphy, whom he worked with at La Forchette and eventually on the openings of Landmarc and Ditch Plains. Chef Frank ran culinary operations at three of Murphy’s Benchmarc restaurants, plus Benchmarc events. After leaving Landmarc, Chef Frank wanted to get back in the kitchen and went to work as an executive chef for Barcelona, a Connecticut-based tapas restaurant with outposts in Boston, D.C., Georgia and Tennessee.

Chef Frank started as the director of stewarding at the Institute of Culinary Education in November 2016 and became the director of culinary operations in 2019.

Work History

  • Executive Chef, Barcelona Restaurant & Wine Bar, 2011-2016
  • Corporate Executive Chef, Benchmarc Restaurants, 2004-2011
  • Executive Chef, Myriad Restaurant Group, 2002-2004


  • Nassau Community College, Restaurant Management
  • Culinary Institute of America, Culinary Arts

Frank Proto on the Blog