Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Bravo and Frasca TOP CHEFS
Watching the Top Chef finale tonight, I was so tempted to take a little peeksy online to see who won, before the episode aired here. But I reconsidered and decided that patience in this case was a virtue. Top Chef is the only television show I watch with "shushing" regularity. There's nothing like watching a group of people that are passionate about food create meals. I suppose those who watch other contest based reality shows feel the same way, but I am just not an American Idol or Dancing With The Stars kind of girl. Food, drama, guest chef-lebrity appearances, now that's what I am all about.
Last night did not disappoint. I called out Stephanie (center in photo above) about week 2. I wish I put some cash on that in Vegas months ago. Stephanie was always the played down chef, that regularly dazzled the judges. I enjoyed Richard's take on cooking, but ultimately, I really wanted a woman to finally take the title! And Lisa, well no comment, I was still a tad bitter that the single mother, Antonia , was booted the week prior. Season 4 and finally we have a woman Top Chef! Fabulous. Now how long do I have to wait for the next Top Chef?
On a related note, as far as Top Chefs go, we were delighted to find out Boulder Chef, Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson, of Frasca was awarded the James Beard Foundation Best Chef of the Southwest! The James Beard Southwest category covered restaurants in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah. For those of you wondering, the James Beard Awards are essentially the Oscars of the restaurant world. The awards are national and even include cookbooks, so it's a nice resource if you are looking for a special place to dine when traveling or even for a new twist on cooking at home.
So let's talk about Frasca. It's an Italian Restaurant in Boulder that specializes in cuisine from Fruili (north eastern Italy). I had never eaten there, until Saturday when my husband surprised me with a dinner out and even arranged for a friend to come hang out with our girls. Frasca is notorious in the foodie culture of Boulder, complete with "months out" wait for a reservation, which seems super silly for a place like Boulder. But we got in. We got in on our 10th wedding anniversary weekend.
At first, I have to admit, Frasca seemed a bit hoity toity to me. There was an air about the place and I wasn't sure if I felt comfortable. But after some conversation with the staff and a half a glass of wine, that feeling subsided. The service was impeccable. The love for food just seemed to ooze through out the entire restaurant. The menu changes seasonally, to make use of the freshest local produce. We dined on Salumi, fresh breads, warm salad with panchetta and potatoes, risotto with sweet peas, halibut, and a beautifully crafted dessert of bananas with hand made puff pastry, vanilla ice cream and peanuts.
Lucky for us, the stars aligned and our dinner date was on the eve of the big announcement. The James Beard Award, was presented on Sunday. I can only imagine how long the wait is now for a reserved table. Beautiful meal, beautiful company, I can't wait until I am graced with the opportunity to dine there again. It won't be soon enough.