Chef of the Issue: Will Farrington, The Grove 30A
Chef William Farrington began his foray into food in his personal kitchen, breaking down whole pigs for fun and experimenting with new flavors and techniques during downtime while working as a real estate broker in Naples, Florida. Farrington loves yeast, smoking, curing, and most techniques and flavors that are derived from the need to survive (think hunters-gatherers, the Vikings, etc.).
Quickly falling in love with the magic behind food as a way to celebrate history and bring together family, friends, and community, Will first donned an apron as a chef in a small three-person kitchen at Café Verona in Naples. There, he learned what it takes to run a high-volume cafe with limited staff and space. Soon after, he picked up and moved west to attend the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena, California, where he honed his passion for the simplicity of an Italian dish crafted by a grandmother using what’s in her kitchen and the pomp of a French dish fit for royalty. Some of his favorite things are mother sauces like velouté and crispy chicken skin.
Farrington worked at several institutions in and around Napa Valley during his tenure at the esteemed culinary school before moving to Los Angeles, where he ran a taco truck. In 2018, Will joined the team at OAK at Fourteenth in Boulder, Colorado. He quickly worked his way through all of the kitchen stations and was ultimately promoted to chef de tournant, sort of the Swiss Army knife of the kitchen who assists wherever help is needed. Farrington was responsible for bulk prep for all menu courses and made the majority of OAK’s ingredients in-house, from sourdough bread and pasta dough to homemade ice cream and anglaise sauce.
When the pandemic hit, Will and his wife, Liz, found themselves in Santa Rosa Beach, where he developed his vision to bring elevated Americana cuisine to 30A. He is so excited to introduce his food to the community. Will and his wife live in Seagrove with their dog, Lily, and are expecting a baby boy in August.