chef-name: Sanford D'Amato

“Good Stock Farm”? Hatsfield Massachusetts? Not Sanford Restaurant in Milwaukee?

This is a first! Great Chefs always features a chef in his restaurant, but this is the first time we featured a chef who then sold his restaurant, and Great Chefs can make the announcement of the opening of his new cooking school “Good Stock Farm”.

Sandy D’Amato grew up in Milwaukee, where his father and grandfather operated a grocery store for nearly 80 years. Sandy attended the Culinary Institute where he studied under Chef Peter Von Erp in 1974. Shortly thereafter, he became the first American cook at Le Veau d’Or and worked under Roland Chenus, through the groundbreaking opening of Le Chantilly. In 1980, Chef D’Amato returned to Milwaukee and made his mark as the chef at John Byron’s restaurant in the First Wisconsin Center, and was touted as one of the 25 “Hot New Chefs” by Food & Wine.
In 1989, Chef D’Amato and his wife Angie, opened Sanford Restaurant, in the building that formerly housed the family grocery. The restaurant quickly became regarded as one of the best in the Midwest. It received accolades both locally and nationally for years. Chef Sandy was chosen personally by Julia Child to be one of the 12 chefs to cook for her 80th Birthday Celebration. He also cooked for the Dalai Lama of Tibet, the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, the World Equestrian Games and the Taste of the NFL.

In October 1994, Great Chefs television knocked on his door to film four dishes for their Great Chefs-Great Cities television series for The Discovery Channel. In 1996 he was chosen as Best Chef Midwest by the James Beard Foundation. After 24 years, in 2012, he sold Sanford Restaurant to his longtime Chef de Cuisine, and soon to be a Great Chef, Justin Aprahamian. It didn’t take Chef Justin long, for in 2014 he too was chosen as “Best Chef of the Midwest” at Sanford, maintaining the traditions that Sandy had laid long before.

Chef Sanford D’Amato and his wife Angie, have moved to a small rural agricultural area on the banks of the Connecticut River in western Massachusetts in the town of Hatfield. He planted his organic vegetable and herb gardens, apple and pear trees, berry bushes, asparagus, rhubarb, horseradish and garlic in 2008. In 2013 he wrote his first book, an award winning “GOOD STOCK: Life on a Low Simmer” (Agate Midway). In the next few months, he will open his new cooking school “GOOD STOCK FARM” in Hatfield, Massachusetts where he will welcome friends for dinner and students for cooking classes.