Agostino Franco Cupini was born in Rome, Italy , in 1944, the son of a government administrator. After attending Bernini institute at the University of Rome, he received his early cooking experience at the Enalc Hotel School in Rome where he was tutored by the top chefs of Italy.

After graduation, Franco went to work as an assistant Chef at the prestigious, 600 Room, Grand Hotel in Rome where he developed an impressive reputation among celebrities, dignitaries and the European aristocracy - including JFK. Soon, he was summoned to cook for former Italian President Giovanni Leone at the Quirinal Palace. Word of his expertise soon spread and Franco was in demand internationally for his culinary expertise.

He spent time cooking aboard the exclusive Greek liner “Athena” at Lorenzo’s Restaurant in London and at Le Boate’s in Paris. He originated such innovative ideas as “Pan-Fried Ice Cream’, and wedding cakes with live doves and illuminated ice carvings.

After coming to the United States in 1968 Franco went on to create his own exclusive restaurant in St. Louis, and followed that by becoming Executive Chef at the Ritz Carlton. Franco currently owns Cupini’s in Kansas City - which has received national acclaim by USA TODAY, Zagat and two shows on the Food Network.