Best New Chef 2005 Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson
Best New Chef 2005 Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson

Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson

F&W Star Chef » See All F&W Chef Superstars Restaurants: Frasca Food & Wine (Boulder, CO); Pizzeria Locale (Denver and Boulder) Education: Ferrandi (Paris) What dish are you most famous for?Frico caldo. It’s a kind of hash browns with potatoes, onions and cheese, whose roots lie in northeastern Italy and Friuli. It celebrates Friuli’s king of cheeses, Montasio. Frico means “fried” or “crispy”; caldo means “hot.” We started serving it years ago, and now it’s become synonymous with Frasca. What is your secret-weapon ingredient? Horseradish. We serve it lots of ways: Raw on crudo, or with prosciutto on crostini, or mixed with grated apples and crème fraîche; pickled with grilled or roasted meats. Ours is quite strong, because we use nice horseradish from the farmers and grate it ourselves. People have never had anything quite like it. That’s part of its allure: You’re taking something that people are familiar with, then doing a rendition that’s abundantly more fresh and flavorful, not mass-produced. People tend to be enamored by that fresh, hot and spicy taste. What will we always find in your fridge at home? I’m into cold-pressed juices like Suja. You can’t get that incredible flavor in something pasteurized. I like green juices seasoned with pineapple juice or mint or celery or apple. You’ll also find lots of coconut water and Pellegrino Limonata. What do you eat straight out of the fridge, standing up? My daughter’s Mini Babybel cheeses. What is your favorite cookbook of all time? At Frasca we love Fred Plotkin’s cookbook La Terra Fortunata. 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. Who is your food mentor, and what is the most important thing you learned? When I was in Paris, I got to work with Benoît Guichard, the longtime chef de cuisine for Joël Robuchon. He taught me about practicing to get something right, as opposed to creativity for the sake of being creative. A lot of people talk about repetition. But rather than just saying that you have to embrace mincing an onion every day, what you have to understand is that customers pay for the food. So it has to be executed right. It doesn’t have to be complicated or different from the day before. It has to be well executed and delicious. The only way you get to that point is by practicing a dish over and over again. Some cooks are always trying to change things for the sake of innovation. One element may taste interesting on its own or look interesting on the plate, but altogether the dish may not work. The way a dish is practiced and built at its core is what works best. My other mentor was Thomas Keller at the French Laundry. Thomas instilled the importance of organization and cleanliness. Being particular about how things should look, how they’re placed, how things are washed. It changed the way I think about a restaurant. It’s simply the most organized and efficient and clean kitchen organization that exists anywhere. What is the most important skill you need to be a great chef? We teach our chefs to forget about the romance of running a restaurant. We stress the economic model. We want people to know that there’s a consequence to a bad decision or disorganization. They’re going to have their own restaurants some day, so I want them to understand that the economic challenge and the people challenge are the two hardest parts. Once you have great training, the food part is the simplest part of running a restaurant. What is your hidden talent? I cycle a lot. I did the Mount Evans Hill Climb last year, along the highest paved road in the US, from Idaho Springs to the top of Mount Evans. It was 11 miles or so, climbing from 8,000 feet up to 14,000. It took me 2 hours and 33 minutes. The race starts early and you get up to the top, and then they kick everyone off as fast as they can. Everyone’s suffering, of course, and wanting to lie down in the parking lot at the top. But the race organizers try to get everybody off the mountain because the storms come in the early afternoon.2005 Best New Chef Bio Why Because he applies his technical mastery to a casual kind of cooking, featuring the bold flavors of Italy's Friuli region. He even does amazing things with a simple breadstick. Born Kingston, Ontario; 1975. Education École Supérieure de Cuisine Française Ferrandi, Paris. Experience Jamin in Paris; La Taupinière in Brittany, France; The French Laundry in Yountville, CA. Why he went to cooking school in France "My parents are academics—they are both professors of surgery. When I told them I wanted to be a chef, they said, 'Don't you need to go to school for that?' Then I read about Ferrandi, which gives foreign students the opportunity to work full-time in French kitchens if they pass the exam." Ingredient obsession Citric acid from a local health food store. "We use it to make our own ricotta, our own yogurt. Lemon juice tastes too much like lemon juice; citric acid is neutral." Most memorable meal Lunch at Les Maisons de Bricourt, a Michelin two-star restaurant on Mont-Saint-Michel Bay in Brittany. "It was the first time I ate a meal that so epitomized one place. The menu was all Brittany—the butter, the cheeses, the scallops. Out in the bay, tractors were harvesting the oysters when the tide was out." Won Best New Chef at: Frasca Food and Wine; Boulder, CO
Blecs are handrolled pasta made from a mixture of wheat and buckwheat flours, that have a dumpling-like texture when cooked. Buckwheat flour is naturally gluten-free, resulting in a delicate pasta dough that stretches a little more than standard egg pasta when rolling. For a less intense buckwheat flavor, choose light buckwheat flour.
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This creamy polenta with three-cheese fonduta, also called Toc’ in braide, is a luxuriously rich mixture of thick, sweet polenta, and three cheeses: whole-milk ricotta, crumbly Gorgonzola, and nutty Parmigiano-Reggiano. Thyme-infused brown butter adds a woodsy, nutty bite to this indulgent side.
Strawberry-Raspberry Cake
Rating: Unrated
8
This simple cake relies on a well-aerated batter for its light texture; cream the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy before adding the flour for best results.
Weaving the pasta sheets in this lasagna allows the outer pieces to bubble and crisp in the oven around the creamy, rustic prosciutto-ricotta filling. Don’t skip the fresh pasta sheets; their length and texture are key to weaving together this show-stopping dish.To ensure that the pasta dough yields two long, even sheets, this recipe makes a bit of extra dough to allow for generous trimming. Reroll the scraps and cut into enough fresh noodles for a light meal for two. The lasagna needs to set up in the refrigerator for at least six hours and up to a day; the assembled lasagna may be frozen and thawed in the fridge before slicing and roasting. The spinach may be blanched in the pasta water and the spinach sauce may be made up to a day ahead. Once the lasagna has chilled, it takes mere minutes to heat and serve this stunning, cover-worthy recipe, making it ideal for a dinner party. For a version without prosciutto, see Note.
Chef Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson pairs a subtly tangy berry granita with honey-sweetened pesto in this refreshing summer dessert. Choose the sweetest, juiciest berries for the most flavorful granita.
2005 F&W Best New Chef Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson adds a generous amount of crisp green and wax beans to this light summer pasta for crunch and body, so the dish uses fewer noodles. Slideshow: More Spaghetti Recipes 
Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson molds traditional Italian frico (cheese crisps) into cups, then fills the salty, crunchy bowls with creamy, warm polenta and nutty brown butter. The frico cups soften as the polenta sits in them, so serve right away, with a fork and knife. Slideshow:  Cheese Recipes 
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Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson uses Montasio, a mild Italian cow-milk cheese, for this smart, simple, rustic salad. Slideshow:  Italian Salads 
Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson created this ultra-rich hot chocolate topped with coconut cream for his partner Bobby Stuckey's wife, Danette, who has a sweet tooth. "At Frasca, we make a lot of desserts with chocolate or coconut, so we just kept going and came up with this drink," says Lachlan.
Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson molds traditional Italian frico (cheese crisps) into cups, then fills the salty, crunchy bowls with creamy, warm polenta and nutty brown butter. The frico cups soften as the polenta sits in them, so serve right away, with a fork and knife. Slideshow:  Cheese Recipes 
Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson uses Montasio, a mild Italian cow-milk cheese, for this smart, simple, rustic salad. Slideshow:  Italian Salads 
Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson created this ultra-rich hot chocolate topped with coconut cream for his partner Bobby Stuckey's wife, Danette, who has a sweet tooth. "At Frasca, we make a lot of desserts with chocolate or coconut, so we just kept going and came up with this drink," says Lachlan.
Spinach and Parmesan Sformati
Rating: Unrated
New!
Top Chef Masters' Lachlan Mackinnon Patterson adds Parmesan to his wonderful spinach custard, then garnishes it with a little more cheese before serving. More Delicious Top Chef Recipes
Frasca Food and Wine restaurant in Boulder, Colorado, is inspired by the Friuli region of Italy; co-owner and wine director Bobby Stuckey serves a number of edgy Friulian wines. This veal dish is particularly good with slightly tannic "orange" wines like Gravner's Ribolla Gialla. More Veal Recipes
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Grissini are Italian breadsticks—not the typical stubby, sesame-coated ones but the svelte, supercrunchy ones. Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson serves them with a sweet-tart red-pepper jelly (a recipe handed down from his grandmother) and wedges of Montasio cheese. Cocktail Party Recipes
At Frasca in Boulder, Colorado, Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson preserves his own tuna in olive oil to make this terrific tuna salad, brightened with tangerine and green olives and served on garlicky grilled bread. More Grilled Appetizers
Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson makes his savory meatballs with a mixture of lamb, veal and bacon and, surprisingly, a little ricotta cheese to keep everything moist. He serves them on an unconventional salad of grilled scallions with shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano. More Salads with Meat
"There's a style of Italian cooking known as exotico," says Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson. "In Friuli it often refers to ingredients and dishes from the port of Trieste, where spices and dried fruit are popular." This exotico cauliflower, which cooks in the capon's rich poaching liquid, is tossed with two kinds of raisins and a tangy dressing flavored with mustard seeds and cumin. Slideshow:  More Healthy Vegetable Recipes 
Frasca's Gorp
Rating: Unrated
New!
"We call this the snack food of champions," says Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson of his chocolate-and-raisin-studded mix. It gives him an energy boost during long, intense bike rides and long, intense nights in the kitchen.
Frasca's Grissini
Rating: Unrated
1
Frasca, BoulderGrissini are super-crunchy Italian breadsticks. Frasca chef Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson—an F&W Best New Chef 2005—serves them with a sweet-tart pepper jelly and wedges of mellow Montasio cheese.Plus: More Appetizer Recipes and Tips
Crispy Frico with Soppressata
Rating: Unrated
New!
In the Italian region of Friuli, frico—the simple, enticingly crisp cheese disks—are ubiquitous snacks that allegedly were slipped into hunters' pockets by their wives. Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson recommends making frico with the classic Italian cheeses montasio and Piave: "If you're a nut like that and can get aged montasio for your frico, it will change your life," he says of the hard-to-find, exquisitely nutty cheese. Parmigiano-Reggiano is a fine substitute.
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Coal-Roasted Potatoes
Rating: Unrated
New!
Slow-roasting Yukon Gold potatoes near the hot coals enhances their rich flavor. It also dries them out a little bit, which helps them soak up butter. More Potato Recipes
When he's grilling outside in winter, Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson likes to make his granitas outside too. He'll place a bowl of fresh, bright-red blood orange juice in the snow near the grill; as it freezes, he'll occasionally scrape it with a fork to form crystals, and then serve the granita for dessert. More Frozen Desserts
Antipasto Salad
Rating: Unrated
New!
At tiny Frasca Food and Wine, Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson (an F&W Best New Chef 2005) is famous for his Friulian food. When Frasca moves to a bigger space later this year, he'll open a casual café serving dishes like chopped salads made with greens grown on the roof.More Great Salads