Pandora's Pies Chef Lincoln Franchell

Pandora’s Pies is All About Local

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We sat down with Chef Lincoln Franchell of Pandora’s Pies in Elon to learn more about his background and passion for being a chef:

How did you become a chef?
I decided to become a chef while I was in High School in New York. I had the opportunity to cook almost every day in school in my Home Economics class and my teacher had a big influence on me. I came to North Carolina over a decade ago and have been the Chef here at Pandora’s Pies for the past eight years.

What is the inspiration for your cuisine?
If I can get it local, I am getting it local. I’m a strong believer that we should know the source of our food and I personally want to get to know the people we source from. It’s a great way to build a strong connection to the community and get a taste of the area. I enjoy visiting the farms we work with and I often take my son with me. Over the years, our farming partners have become our friends and we have them over for dinner.

Our menu is created by drawing on all of these experiences. My feet aren’t stuck in one spot so I have been able to learn new things as I go along. We add new things to the menu as they become available seasonally. I joke that no recipe gets made the same way twice. At the end of the day, it doesn’t need to be complicated. It’s about bringing people together.

Why do you purchase Firsthand foods meats? What does it mean to you?
We use Firsthand Foods because we can get a consistent local product in the amounts we require. During the school year, I need as much as 125 lbs of sausage at a time. I couldn’t do that sourcing direct from farmers. The prices are also right. Plus the quality is superior to what we were getting before. If Firsthand didn’t exist, I would have to physically go to the farms to get enough product. Our partnership really simplifies the process.