Frakes has a full platter. He not only oversees the Milwaukee
ChopHouse, the Miller Time Pub, the Café, Paradise Island and 730
guest rooms, but on any given day, there are conventions, weddings and
meetings in the five ballrooms and 18 multipurpose rooms.
Frakes, a native Milwaukeean, grew up in south Florida, but was
always loyal to his Wisconsin roots. He visited often but came back 25
years later, lured away from his executive chef position at the West
Hollywood Bel Age Hotel by The Pfister Hotel. He was instrumental at
the opening of Mason Street Grill and, serendipitously, he met his
wife, Gina Chirchirillo, owner of Valentina, that night. They now have
two daughters, Tiana and McRae.
Frakes’ culinary skills have not gone unnoticed: he was named to
the Top 40 under 40 list by the Milwaukee Business Journal in 2007; he
is a twice Visit Milwaukee Showcase winner and Milwaukee’s 2008
Cajun Chef Champion. He is influenced by Floribbean flavors, and
Southern and New American cuisine, but loves local fare. He currently
works with the locavore-friendly Growing Power, Bunzel’s Meat Market
and Wisconsin cheesemakers — including his favorite, Carr Valley’s
Virgin Pine Native Blue.
Frakes unabashedly calls The Milwaukee ChopHouse the best steak
house in Wisconsin, serving hand-picked specifications of custom cuts
from Chicago. He also prides himself on offering outstanding menus and
price-wise, something for everyone.