As a US Navy culinary specialist stationed in Italy, Chad Shaner found his love of cooking. During his time overseas, Shaner served as captain’s cook for over three years circling the Adriatic and Mediterranean seas as he learned about Italian flavors and seasonal ingredients.
Upon his return to the US he enrolled in the CULINARY INSTITUTE OF AMERICA, Hyde Park where he got his first restaurant kitchen experience with an externship at Aqua Grill NYC.
Since his formal training, Chef Shaner’s career has taken him through the kitchens of New York’s best restaurants. He served as a cook at the esteemed GOTHAM BAR AND GRILL and as an executive sous chef at UNION SQUARE CAFE.
When Shaner joined the opening team of FREEK'S MILL in Gowanus, Brooklyn as executive chef/partner his focus has driven by seasonality, seafood, pasta, and a heavy focus on market vegetables. Many of the small plates utilize the wood-fired oven bringing a primal aspect to his cuisine that only fire can provide. Although a few dishes remain consistent, variety and seasonality drive Shaner to continue to create new dishes for the menu based on the time of year.
Since opening the restaurant, Shaner’s food has earned Freek’s Mill a 2-STAR REVIEW IN THE NEW YORK TIMES (critic’s pick) as well as the MICHELIN GUIDE'S BIBB GOURMAND AWARD.