Francesco Farris spent his childhood years in Orosei on his native island of Sardinia. After graduating with a liberal arts degree from the Instituto Agrario in Nuoro, Francesco worked with many exclusive resorts in Italy, both as cook and manager, including Salice d'Ulzio in Piedmont. He joined his brother in the United States in 1991 to pursue a career in the restaurant industry. The food created by Francesco, known as "fresh, rustic and aromatic" was recognized by Dallas Observer in 2001 for Best Italian Restaurant. The Dallas Morning News bestowed its Best New Restaurant(s) in 2001 award upon Francesco’s restaurant as well. Francesco’s Ravioli, also took home the prize for "The Ultimate Ravioli" at an international competition back home in Sardinia.
In 2000, Francesco was invited to prepare a meal for the prestigious James Beard Foundation where he could showcase his culinary talent. Three years later, both Francesco and his brother prepared a special dinner for the same foundation during which they re-created the menu they served for their parents' Nozze d'Oro, or golden anniversary celebration, in Sardinia the previous year.
Francesco was one of the first members of the Italian Cuisine industry group, GVCI-IT CHEFS. With this group he has had the good fortune of visiting Torino, Bari, and Milano to promote and improve the Italian cuisine and Italian ingredients around the world. In October of 2011, Francesco was invited to a contest in Bologna where 22 of the most talented Italian Chefs competed in the Lo Sfoglino D’oro. In addition to the competition, Francesco was also invited to Academia Barilla where he was awarded the esteemed title of Italian Culinary Master Chef.
Signature to his style, Francesco creates his Sardinian culinary perfections at home with his handmade brick oven. The oven was made by an Italian craftsman and reaches 700 degrees Fahrenheit, creating the perfect combination of freshly melted toppings and blackened blisters. Francesco also uses this oven for preparing steak, chicken and his infamous sea salt crusted Mediterranean whole fish.
Francesco’s unique cooking style with particularly partial knowledge from his native Sardinia brings forth his newest venture: Zio Cecio Cucina Italiana. The restaurant’s menu is packed with appetizers, featured pastas and risottos prepared with fresh seasonal vegetables, as well as organic beef, lamb, pork and chicken and fresh seafood. Ultimately, Francesco enjoys cooking and being a host to his friends and customers.