Frank Paul Montesi
Point- Dear "cheFranko" / Frank P. MONTESI, 73 years young lost his
battle with cancer November 25, 2017 after fighting with every drop of
energy he had. Even if you didn't know him personally you've most
likely seen his white van on the island these past 17 years or
discussed food prep at Harris Teeter Kitty Hawk.
Master Chef / Renaissance Man born in Danbury, CT lived an exciting,
adventurous and diverse life leaving a lasting impact on people's lives
with his bigger than life personality. His constant zeal was
infectious, to the point of distraction at times.
altar boy and taught to cook by his Italian grandmother, he started his
life early cooking breakfast for Marcus Dairy milkmen in Danbury. He
graduated from UCONN, enlisted in the Navy where he became an
electrician, a shipwright, played in the band, and raced
sailboats on the Great Lakes for the Navy. Upon return, Franko
graduated from Culinary Institute of America / Hyde Park which sent him
directly to Hong Kong as his instructor's sous. He returned and
relocated to Philadelphia where he ran lights and sound for The
Electric Factory. From Philadelphia, where he met & married
his first wife Linda, they saved enough to purchase 60 acres in Nova
Scotia where he subsistence farmed. Clearing and building their
housing, Franko raised the food to feed 8 people along with animals,
including Ham Hock and Pork Chop, his prize winning pigs.
an investment of 5 years Boston called. He returned to the North Shore
and to the ocean he loved. Restaurants were happy to have him, he
shared his passion for delicious food in cooking for The Warren Tavern
/1780, the oldest in Charlestown, visited by both George Washington and
In 1993, we had the opportunity to escape the snow and chose the mid-Atlantic states to Wilmington,
NC. A college town and " Wilmiewood" due to the TV and movie studios,
the customers, celebrities and guests, Franko's Cafe & Trattoria
won several awards including Wine Spectator Award of Excellence several
times and March of Dimes while we developed our 120 Italian wine list,
traveling to Italy to discover new and delicious choices. A glorious 5
years rewarding us with life time friends. 1998 led us to
OBX where survival demands creativity and another approach. Since
cheFranko loved cooking, visiting with guests, he established his
private chef services later joining At Your Service where he and Barb
delighted any and all interested foodies, employing and training those
lucky to work with and for him.
past 17 years he's been lucky to do what he loved best cooking, raising
flowers, veggies, herbs- he could grow ANYTHING, and raising his
beloved Miniature Schnauzers.
Thank you UNC CANCER HOSPITAL & Sentara - Barco for your gentle care.
Franko is survived by his "bride" of 39 years Zia; brother, John and Sister, Norma.
for a celebration of Franko’s life are pending. The family is
gratefully accepting memorial tributes in Franko’s memory directly to
Gallop Funeral Services, Inc. to assist with funeral expenses.
to the family may be expressed via the online register at
www.gallopfuneralservices.com. Gallop Funeral Services, Inc. was
entrusted with arrangements.