In 2006, Chef Rasheed Amedu and his partner Rose Rasmussen crossed paths on the social website known as Myspace. What blossomed into a friendship would eventually become a romantic connection that beckoned Amedu from Chicago to discover what Sacramento had to offer. Beyond falling in love with Rasmussen, Amedu developed a love for Sacramento, where his dream of owning a restaurant would be seeded in the development of Frankly.
Frankly is a monthly pop-up dining experience presented by Amedu and Rasmussen in collaboration with several members of the Sacramento community. Since forming in September of 2017, during the annual HOF Day, Frankly has been a jubilant expression of Amedu’s culinary background, which celebrates his Nigerian roots, Midwest upbringing and Californian connection.
“I’m the type of person that if I don’t know what it is, I want to learn,” said Amedu. “I’m going to do the research, I’m going to look in the cook books, I’m going to figure it out and I’m going to keep trying to refine and perfect that until it’s the best version.”
On Thursday, May 17, Frankly will present its latest pop-up event, in partnership with Rancho Cordova’s Fort Rock Brewing and Sacramento’s Highwater. With room for about 70 guests, the Sacramento Beer Week event will be the biggest experience Frankly has presented thus far, featuring a Fort Rock Pilsner infused asparagus serving, a sous vide flat iron steak with Nigerian chimichurri, and a miso dulce de leche old fashion donut.
Past pop-ups events have featured a seven-course meal with a focus on asian cuisine, a four-course meal that mixed asian and French delicacies, and a five-course meal that highlighted Midwest cuisine with duck-n-pork sausage. In addition, Amedu and Rasmussen welcomed guests to their actual home in Oak Park on one occasion for a bodega-style pop-up that brought a piece of Chicago to Sacramento.
“Because we live in Oak Park, the goal is to, hopefully, if everything continues to happen correctly and everything aligns, is to open an actual concept in Oak Park,” said Amedu.
Frankly’s continued success is the ultimate demonstration of the balance set forth between Amedu and Rasmussen. The level of respect between the two is exemplary of any successful relationship, be it romantic or business-minded.
“He needs to focus on what needs to get done in the kitchen, not making sure like the tables are set correctly and the lighting is this and whatever small detail that is,” said Rasmussen. “Stuff like that I can’t help but worry about anyways, and with my mom being such a foodie and also huge on your dining experience, I was just always raised that ‘It’s not just the food, it’s the experience,’ so we came together well.”
A Frankly dining experience is curated from the moment a guest enters the premises. From the music to the art and the very mixture of guests present, Amedu and Rasmussen strive to bring individuals together for a unique bonding experience that pushes guests to venture the many outlines of creativity–where food becomes a modern muse.
“At the end of the day, my biggest goal for doing this stuff is for people to understand that food is for everybody, wether it’s in the restaurant and it’s the fine dining setting or if you’re, you know, getting food out of the corner store or something like that,” said Amedu. “Food isn’t just for specific types of people, black, white, mexican, it doesn’t matter, we all can enjoy the same type of food and I just want people of color and less fortunate people to understand that and learn that and get the chance to try and, you know, get to dine like that.”
Walk-ins will be welcome as Frankly takes over the Highwater kitchen on Thursday evening, however advance tickets are encouraged.
For more information on Frankly and upcoming events, visit Instagram.com/Frankly_OakPark.