Dallas celebrated the publication of a James Beard Award Winning Chef’s Cookbook with one of the hottest restaurants in town giving tribute to the region and the chef.
It was a time for fans of the well-known chef and James Beard Award Winner and the region of Friuli in Italy to try menu items from his award-winning restaurant, Frasca Food and Wine, and Friuli Food and Wine Cookbook with a 6-course meal paired with wines, curated by Meridian sommelier Caitlin Ball. The launch of Friuli Food and Wine: Frasca Cooking from Northern Italy’s Mountains, Vineyards, and Seaside, from Master Sommelier and renowned hospitality guru Bobby Stuckey came to Dallas with a cookbook inspired menu executed by Meridian Executive Chef Junior Borges and his team.
Fruili is a small area of Northeast Italy that is bordered between Austria, Slovenia, the Adriatic Sea, and Venice known for its white wines. There are four regions growing thirty different wine varieties:
- Friuli Grave – more than half of the production comes from this region and it is known for its flatness and large stones off the Adriatic Sea. It is a DOC wine region within Friuli-Venezia Giulia with 16,000 acres of vineyards known for mostly white wines from the gravelly soil.
- Collio – the region of Collio is known for hills amidst the province of Friuli Venezia Giulia on the border of Slovenia and between the Julian Alps and the Adriatic Sea. The regions Indigenous grapes include Malvasia, Ribolla Gialla, Friulano and Picolit.
- Collii Orientali del Friuli – Colli is the name for hills or slopes and the wines here date back to Roman times. They are grown near the Alps and are known for notes of jasmine, apple and minerality. This region is known for three DOCG (two for sweet wines, these are the top wines of the region)
- Carso — Carso (Kras) is a wine region and DOC that is unique in character and known for being hard to cultivate. It is known for fresh and floral reds and herbaceous whites.
The cuisine is influenced by both history and geography – rivers to mountains to an intersection of Latin, Germanic, Slavic, and Italian.
I loved how the cookbook was broken into sections – Wine, Land, Sea and Mountains – covering the entire region and the components that make it such a special place and the cultures and cuisines the influence it. It is clear with the time spent for each of the sections that wine is as important as the food recipes given and they all play together (we all received a signed cookbook at the dinner).
Courses and Wines
Roasted scallops on the shell, lemon, garlic, parsley and Friulano wine
This was followed by a delicious Ravioli of beet, poppy seeds, smoked ricotta and a 2013 Gradis’Ciutta Cabernet Franc, Collio.
It’s always been said that Friuli has a bit of a cowboy culture with the way the diversity of countries and cultures have come together. Dallas embraced that intersection of food, wine and culture. The book is a great uncovering of a very special region that remains unknown by many.