This Italian cookbook inspired an elaborate culinary competition at Frasca Food and Wine. 

By F&W Editors
Updated May 23, 2017

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 [] 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.”