Chefs Mike and Molly Fagnoni
Chef Mike Fagnoni
Hawks' executive chef and co-owner Michael Fagnoni's modern take on American cuisine reflects the locavore and Slow Food movements of his culinary upbringing. Fagnoni's education began in his grandmother's kitchen, where he helped her craft her Northern Italian feasts, laying the groundwork for the beginning of an impressive culinary career. For Fagnoni, the kitchen "was the only place I could combine my true passion with creativity and make something beautiful for the people I loved."
Starting in the kitchen at 15, Fagnoni became determined to advance his knowledge and enrolled in the Culinary Institute of America in New York, where he graduated on the Dean's List with high honors.
While still in school, Fagnoni's scholastic externship at San Francisco's renowned Bix Restaurant inducted him into the world of a fast-paced, fine dining kitchen. There, he quickly gained the expertise needed to face his next venture as saucier under Chef Rick Moonen at the distinguished Oceana Restaurant in New York City.
In 2001, Fagnoni returned to the San Francisco area as sous chef at Woodside's critically acclaimed restaurant, The Village Pub. With Mark Sullivan, a Food & Wine magazine's "Best New Chef," as his mentor, Fagnoni came into his own.
His reputation soon attracted the attention of culinary trailblazer Chef Traci des Jardins of Jardinière. As sous chef at Jardinière, Fagnoni was introduced to the Slow Food movement and the importance of sustainable agriculture, both key elements in his menu at Hawks. He returned to The Village Pub as chef de cuisine and then set out on his own venture.
In August 2007, he and his wife and chef partner, Molly, opened Hawks in Granite Bay, Calif. Together, they execute a menu of modern American cuisine with focus on locally grown ingredient.
Chef Molly Fagnoni
Molly Fagnoni, executive chef and co-owner of Hawks restaurant in Granite Bay, almost missed her calling in the culinary world. After spending years in pre-med training, Fagnoni's natural enthusiasm for food inspired her to veer from a medical career to one in the restaurant industry. She has since channeled her talent and love of the kitchen into her own restaurant, where she introduces the home-cooked American cuisine she savored as a little girl and perfected in the years spent working with some of Northern California's finest chefs. Along with husband Michael Fagnoni, she blends modern American cuisine with locally farmed ingredients into a menu of exquisitely crafted selections.
With med-school behind her, Fagnoni dove into the Northern California culinary scene, where her natural talent and sophisticated palette helped her to rapidly advance in the restaurant industry while she was enrolled at the California Culinary Academy. Positions at San Francisco's Lapis and LiveFire restaurants paved the way for a line cook position at Woodside's critically acclaimed The Village Pub, where she impressed executive chef Mark Sullivan and swiftly advanced up the ranks. After mastering six stations in the kitchen and equipped with her CCA degree, Fagnoni was promoted to sous chef. Within only a year, Hawks was awarded the coveted role of chef de cuisine at The Village Pub, an honor that helped her solidify the confidence to venture out on her own and open Hawks.
Fagnoni's business expertise and culinary skills offer guests a restaurant that is as sophisticated as is it personal, with a menu paying homage to the Slow Food movement and to the farmers who bring the local bounty to its inspired menu.
Fagnoni lives with her husband and chef partner, Michael, in Granite Bay, near her parents and siblings, still sharing in regular family dinners.
Try these delicious recipes made with Fresh California Avocados. You'll be sure to please your guests.
Grilled Shrimp and California Avocado Open-Faced Sandwich
Click here to watch chefs Mike and Molly Fagnoni demonstrate this recipe