Chef Franc : The Music and Dinner Party        

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Poi dog pondering founder & singer; Frank Orrall loves to cook
& loves dinner parties  
If you are interested in hiring "Chef Franc" 
to bring the groceries & the guitar to your house  
to cook and sing for your dinner party    

If you do not hear back right away on a chef night inquiry,
it is most likely because Frank is out on tour has not had a chance to check emails yet.
Thanks for understanding!  He will get back to you as soon as he can. 

Some flavors that have been emerging at chef nights lately:
We are enjoying blending Japanese and Mediterranean styles lately,
And loving vegetable focused plates,  
Gyoza dumplings, Avocado Tempura and $ spice pancetta salad, Miso Salmon, Gazpacho, Lychee and Champagne,
Cool and Crunchy Mediterranean Feta salad, Roast Chicen and lemon zest, Roast Parsnip and Tomatillo slasa,
Mushrooms & Ramp butter w/ fresh herbs and shallots over rustic toast points
Spanish Boquerones Tapas 
Vietnamese spiced Beef / Pork w spicey dipping sauce and fragrant rice
Butter leaf / Cherry Tomatoe / sweet Onion and Tarragon salade
Smoked Trout Salad w/ Watercress / Radicchio / Radish / Marcona almond & Cool, Creamy Dill and thyme dressing
Lamb & Chorizo Sausage with Fennel, Beans & sweet Onions in a lemon / Yoghurt dressing,
Miso poached salmon, Lima bean and Mushroom soup,  
Grilled Fish and Season Vegetables and fresh lemon zest aioli
Paella MIxta - Camarones a la Basque (with Pernod)
Roasted rack of Lamb with herbed Cannellini Beans
Ratatouille - Gazpacho - Vietnamese 'Bo la lot'
Farro / Burrata Cheese / Fava / Mint / Basil salade  
Simple Grilled Zucchini 



Chef Franc:  Gypsy Chef and Troubadour Night Diner Party

"The Gypsy / Hobo / Troubadour, Bon Vivant life"

(Flavorful food & Inspiring wine to fuel the dinner table Conversation & living-room Music)

We love dinner parties. 

We love what happens when friends and family come together over food and drink. 

Standing in the kitchen, chopping, talking, sipping wine. Preparing, Serving. 

Everyone all together at the dinner table enjoying flavors and conversation. 

The guitars coming out of their cases and the songs drifting into the night air. 

A satisfied belly, a dream pondered and a song in the heart. 

 At the core of the concept of the Chef Nights are 4  things:  

 Good food, Good wine, Conversation & Music.  


" La Cuisine du Marché " : Our Menu selection is inspired by what looks good and Fresh at the Market


 Our Food Shopping Priorities are:     

 Super Fresh ingredients: Locally grown / Seasonal and Organic  

 Sustainably sourced seafood, & humanely handled, hormone free meats;    

 Prepared with an international flare & diverse flavor combinations   

Drawing on the flavors of: 


& pared with interesting wines from around the world. 





photo by:  Agnieszka Kulon

Chef Franc: 

(A.K.A. Frank Orrall / "el Dandy"):

Born in New Mexico, raised in Hawai'i. Touring with Poi Dog Pondering and Thievery Corporation has taken Frank Around the world; from Morocco to Turkey to Brazil to Japan... 

A self taught musician, poet & chef;  with a strong passion for the international flavor. Likes to eat well, travel, laugh & sing. 

Chef Franc's Sous Chefs for larger parties & Road Adventures


Sous Chef / Musician:
Marco Giovanni Ferrari
Son of Italian born parents, Marco was raised with good home cooked food. His Mother is an amazing Cook. Dinner at the Ferrari's household is always delicious and conversation lively. Marco is a visual artist and film maker. If you have ever seen Poi Dog Pondering live in the last 15 years, you have see his video projections on the screen behind the band - PDP LOVES his work, and he has been a collaborator with the band on all it's big shows. He and Frank love to cook for each other at each other's houses in Hyde Park and dream of future projects. Marco's specialty in the Kitchen is of course, Italian. :))


Sous Chef / Musician: 

Gilles Aniorte-Tomassian: 

Born and raised in France. Gilles moved to Mexico city for 15 years before relocating to Chicago. We lovingly call him the "Frenchican". 

Gilles also has Spanish & Armenian roots. All these influences and more come into flavor the food and atmosphere of the Chef Nights.


Sous Chef  / Musician: 

Sean Coffey:  "Sean-dinista"

Born and raised in Hawai'i. As the the original Poi dog pondering drummer, Sean and Frank toured North America together extensively. Sean spent a decade in Berlin, then a few years in Montreal before relocating recently to Austin. Sean is a soulful traveler who brings his philosophical / rascal heart with him. 


Sous Chef / Musician: 

Mariko Usui:  "Coco" 

Born & raised in Sapporo Japan, Coco has also spend a great deal of time living in Hawai'i & now lives in Chicago. She is very creative with flavors, and carrys a wonderful knowledge of tasty Japanese dishes. 


Sous Chef / Musician: 

Charlette Wortham:  "Truffy" 

Born & raised in Chicago, Charlette has also spend a great deal of time in France. She is a world ambassador of love, and also a Poi Dog Pondering Member (Singer/percussionist). 


Sous Chef: 

Carolynn Travis:  "Chaka" 

Born & raised in Detroit, then Moved to Chicago. Chaka has steadfastly been Poi Dog Pondering's chief Consiglieri. Chaka and Frank frontiered the Chef nights, and tho she is busy with her Solo Music and her work in hearing protection service, she sometimes still comes out and swings a knife for the chef nights. 


Sous Chef / Musician: 
Susan Voelz:  "Susqua" 
Born & raised in Wisconsin, Schooled in Bloomington then Moved to and spent foundational time in New Orleans & Austin. Susan and her Violin are one of the signature sounds of poi dog pondering. She likes good wine, and pretends like she doesn't eat bacon.


Sous Chef

Robert Cornelius: "Bobby C"

Backing / Co-Vocalist with PDP for 20 years, and with his own band, the RC7. Robert has many years under his belt working in Fine Dinning restaurants before his music career took off, and all of that comes in real handy on the chef nights, as well as his booming baritone :)) 


1 to 9 people

$600 + $30 (per person for Food )

10 to 15 people

$600 + $30 (per person for Food ) + $250 for my Sous Chef

16 to 22 people

$600 + $30 (per person for Food ) + $500 for 2 Sous Chefs)

Poi dog pondering Band members can be added as Sous Chefs,
cost is 500 per band member (in place of Sous Chef fees)

23 or more people begins to lose intimacy, but it is is still possible - email me to discuss 


To inquire about booking Chef Franc and Friends to Cook for your dinner party, Send Franc an email letting him know what City you are in and what approximate date you would like: email 


Here's a few questions that would be helpful to know to help us plan your dinner:

Food: I usually decide on the menu a few days before or even day of once I'm in the store and can see what looks fresh and good.  But I'm happy to follow any direction you want, in case you have any dis-likes or preferences… 

Any food restrictions?

 ( Feel Free to Let me know if you prefer, Spicy, Non-Spicy, Meaty, Vegetarian, Pesce-catarian... etc., )

What month, or specific date would you like? 

What is the address?

How many guests?

What time do the guests arrive?

What time do you want to eat?

Can I arrive 4 hours before dinner to prepare?

Do you have these things in your kitchen? (not that we need these, just good to know either way)

* Oven

* Blender or food processor

* roasting pan

* 1 or 2 fryng pans

* Large pot for boiling water

* Strainer

* a few mixing bowls

* Do you have a Grill? (not that we need one, just good to know)

Wine / Beer / Beverages: Just because legally it gets tricky with my bringing Wine, I no longer do - so you will be in charge of Wine / Beverages: What ever you like is fine. And in fact, I've also noticed that guests like to bring wine; it gives them the opportunity to contribute. 

We will do all the shopping and show up at your place with the Guitar & Food; we like to get there a few hours before the guests arrive, meet you and to prep and cook, so that I can be all ready and relaxed when they arrive. It's all very casual :)

Cost is $600 plus $30 per person (for up to 9 diners) 

If there are 10 to 15 diners please add $250 for my sous chef, 

if there are 16 to 22 diners please add $500 for my 2 sous chefs - Max 22 people

If you would rather have another PDP band member be the sous chef then scratch the extra 200 and add 500 (per extra band member).

You can pay the night of by Cash or Check, (cash is best, but check is fine too;

If by check, please make out to: POI DOG PONDERING INC., )

I love to travel, so If you live outside the Chicago area, This is not a problem. 

But if so, transportation is a special consideration.

You will need to take care of train or airfare, and transportation to and from the airport,  

But we can discuss that when the time comes, and we'll find the best solution for everyone. We are super flexible. 

Thank you!








If you are interested in hiring Chef Franc & Friends
to bring the groceries, wine & bring the guitar to your house  
to cook and sing for your dinner party    


Last year's Chef night adventures Took us all across north america
for 3 month long dinner party tours - it was quite an adventure! :))