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This Italian cookbook inspired an elaborate culinary competition at Frasca Food and Wine.
Getting a chef to pick a favorite cookbook is like asking a parent to choose her most-loved child. But F&W pressed great cooks around the country to reveal their all-time top picks.
The Chef: Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson
The Book: La Terra Fortunata: The Splendid Food and Wine of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy’s Great Undiscovered Region [http://www.amazon.com/La-Terra-Fortunata-Venezia-Giulia-Undiscovered/dp/076790611X] by Fred Plotkin, 2001
“At Frasca Food and Wine we love Fred Plotkin’s cookbook La Terra Fortunata,” Mackinnon-Patterson says. “It’s currently out of print, but it’s an important inspiration. We recently held a culinary competition with all of our chefs: Everyone had to choose a dish from that book, then make it in their own way with a touch of creativity or modernism. We created this elaborate scoring table, and judged all of the dishes on appearance and taste and plating and originality. The winners all got prizes.”