Frank Stitt
Frank Stitt

Frank Stitt

F&W Star Chef » See All F&W Chef Superstars Restaurants: Bottega, Chez Fonfon, Highlands Bar and Grill (Birmingham, AL) What are you most famous for? Braises, long-simmered stews, whether it’s with lamb, rabbit, guinea hen or beef cheeks. What’s your current food obsession? Using the whole animal, incorporating everything from the cheeks to the tail. You can work directly with the farmer. It helps them out. Best new store-bought ingredient? There’s a wonderful lemon vinegar called Huilerie Beaujolaise. It has a sweetness and tartness. I’m really excited about that. I use that vinegar for everything from dressing crab to making reductions for seafood to making vinaigrettes for vegetables. What ingredient will people be talking about in five years? Local honey and local eggs. We’re going to have more beekeepers and we’re going to be talking about different varieties of hens, whether it’s an Araucana or whether it’s a Rhode Island Red, and which one makes the best eggs. What will we always find in your fridge? There are always farm eggs. There’s always Dijon mustard and Hellmann’s mayonnaise and Champagne. Parmigiano-Reggiano, cured meats. Fra’ Mani—their salumetti piccolo is a current favorite. What’s your favorite snack? Some of our egg salad. Often I’ll put that on a Bays English muffin. Who is your food mentor? Richard Olney. I was so fascinated by his writing and his knowledge about food, wine and cooking, as well as the message about the importance of studying the history and the traditions of a dish. The more you study, the more you can incorporate a spirit of a dish. Favorite cookbook of all time? All of Elizabeth David’s books and Richard Olney’s books. Simple French Food is one that I go back to for the inspiration. What is the most cherished souvenir you've brought back from a trip? Ingredients from Slow Food, the Salone del Gusto, some different olive oils, vinegars and also smuggled truffles. What’s the best bang-for-your-buck ingredient, and how do you use it? Calabrian chiles. The ones that I like are these very small, round, red chiles that are packed in olive oil. They often will have the stem on. When you chop or crush them and add them to, say, goat cheese or mozzarella or a crostini or a vinaigrette, there is this wonderful flavor—not just the heat—but this flavor of pimento.
Frank's Vinaigrette
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This vinaigrette, made with three different vinegars, comes from Frank Stitt at Highland’s Bar & Grill in Birmingham, Alabama.  This recipe makes the perfect amount for about 1 pound of mixed lettuces – try it as an accompaniment to Zucchini-and-Herb-Stuffed Chicken.
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Frank Stitt, owner of Highlands Bar & Grill in Birmingham, Alabama, started his culinary education by working for the late great cookbook author Richard Olney in Provence, France.  This recipe, in which ripe summer tomatoes and eggplant are roasted with herbs and olives, is part of a dinner party inspired by Olney’s love of great wine and seasonal produce. Stitt suggest serving this dish with a bottle of 2000 Domaine Tempier Bandol Rouge – the owners were close friends of Olney’s, and their wines represent the arid, aromatic landscape of Provence. This dish is adapted from a recipe which appeared in one of Olney’s cookbooks “The Good Cook: Vegetables”.  It is a rustic French side, so flavor counts more than presentation here – be sure to salt your eggplant and tomatoes 30 minutes ahead of time for optimal flavor.
Apple Tart with Apricot Glaze
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Frank Stitt, owner of Highlands Bar & Grill in Birmingham, Alabama, started his culinary education by working for the late great cookbook author Richard Olney in Provence, France. This tart is the final dish in a dinner party menu designed by Stitt and inspired by Olney’s love of seasonal produce and great wine. If you don’t have a tart pan, roll the dough into a 12-inch square and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Top with apples, shingled to the edges, and bake at 375°F until crisp, about 45 minutes.
Frank Stitt, owner of Highlands Bar & Grill in Birmingham, Alabama, started his culinary education by working for the late great cookbook author Richard Olney in Provence, France. This appetizer, in which ripe figs are stuffed with walnuts, wrapped in ham and kissed on the grill, is a riff on devils on horseback inspired by Olney’s love of seasonal ingredients. Make them ahead of time so you can spend plenty of time with your guests, says Stitt, but be sure the wine is the perfect temperature. He recommends serving this appetizer with Krug Grande Cuvée Champagne, which has a creaminess and bright juicy acidity that pairs perfectly with salty, sweet figs and thickened lemon cream.
For a taste of Italy, try this book: Bottega Favorita This book focuses on chef Frank Stitt's creative use of Italian and Southern ingredients.
"The greatest poultry I've ever had was in France, where it's dry-brined to concentrate the flavor," says Frank Stitt. Slideshow:  Thanksgiving Turkey Recipes 
Herbed Pork Rib Roast
Rating: Unrated
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Frank Stitt, the chef and owner of Bottega and Highlands Bar and Grill in Birmingham, Alabama, adores this versatile cut of pork. It can be sliced into chops and cooked individually or roasted whole and carved at the table.
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Chef Frank Stitt of Highlands Bar & Grill in Birmingham, Alabama, notices a marked difference between strip steaks cooked with the bone and those cooked without it: "There is this added flavor that the bone lends to the beef, and it keeps the meat around the bone especially tender," he says. Stitt pairs these steaks with smoky sweet potato hash browns: "Sweet potatoes have so much personality for such an inexpensive, humble ingredient." More Steak Recipes
Herbed Pork Rib Roast
Rating: Unrated
2
Frank Stitt, the chef and owner of Bottega and Highlands Bar and Grill in Birmingham, Alabama, adores this versatile cut of pork. It can be sliced into chops and cooked individually or roasted whole and carved at the table.
Chef Frank Stitt of Highlands Bar & Grill in Birmingham, Alabama, notices a marked difference between strip steaks cooked with the bone and those cooked without it: "There is this added flavor that the bone lends to the beef, and it keeps the meat around the bone especially tender," he says. Stitt pairs these steaks with smoky sweet potato hash browns: "Sweet potatoes have so much personality for such an inexpensive, humble ingredient." More Steak Recipes