Meet Our Team

Francois Kwaku-Dongo

Executive Chef

Francois came to the United States in 1981 from Western Africa’s tropical Ivory Coast. While attending Manhattan’s Borough College he worked in restaurants throughout the city before attaining the Sous Chef position at New York City’s popular Remi. Here he learned the finer nuances of pasta making, preparing the perfect risotto, and mastering the art of gnocchi and ravioli. While at Remi, Francois met Chef Wolfgang Puck, who brought this young chef to California to master his chef skills, cooking at Puck’s highly acclaimed restaurants; Chinois on Main in LA, Granita in Malibu and Postrio in San Francisco. More intense culinary training came while acting as Sous Chef to Executive Chef Makoto Tanaka at Spago in West Hollywood. Francois traveled to Japan with Chef Makoto to learn about Japanese cuisine and technique, and trained with some of the best French chefs. Ultimately, Francois went on to be the Executive Chef of Spago West Hollywood in 1992, where he was voted one of the best up and coming young chefs in Los Angeles. In 1996 Francois opened Spago in Chicago and oversaw the development and openings of Wolfgang Puck Catering and Events. In 2005 he journeyed to Greenwich, CT with his family to open l' Escale restaurant on Greenwich Harbor as the Executive Chef, where he made his culinary mark with his inspired land and sea menu. After seven years at L’ Escale, Francois went on to open a new boutique hotel and restaurant, The J House Greenwich. Here, Francois created his Chocolate Lab, a pastry and gelato shop where he produced his own chocolate line using the raw material produced entirely in Ghana, West Africa where Francois has his cocoa factory.

Francois has been featured in Gourmet Magazine, appeared on the Iron Chef America Show in 2008 and is a 2008 James Beard Nominee. David’s Soundview Catering is fortunate to have such an amazing talent in their midst.