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Frank Stitt

Frank Stitt
Did you know?

R.W. Apple wrote in The New York Times that Frank "sniffs out prime regional ingredients -- flippingly fresh seafood from the Gulf of Mexico, fruits and vegetables from Alabama farms, stone-ground grits, plump quail from the Carolinas -- and cooks them with French finesse.”

Frank Stitt
Frank's Featured Recipe
Peach Crostata

Click here for recipe

Frank Stitt did not set out to be a chef, but although he studied philosophy at Berkley during the 1970s, he met Alice Waters and was sold on food. During his subsequent culinary career Frank accrued local, regional and national gastronomic awards and a favorite son of Alabama, his home state.

 

Frank’s fondness for humble southern ingredients comes from his own rural roots, but also from his attraction to the south of France. After college, his travels took him to  vineyards in Provence as well as Burgundy and when he finally came back home to Alabama, the foods and traditions he had encountered in France became part of his vision.

 

His first restaurant in Birmingham, Highlands Bar & Grill, opened in 1982, where he combined French technique and the seasonal flavors of "both souths"— the local south and the south of France, Even though Highlands filled a fine dining niche, Frank wanted to experiment with the flavors he encountered in Italy, Greece and Spain. Thus Bottega and Café Bottega, located in an Italianate mansion in Birmingham, were born.

 

In 2011, Chef Stitt was inducted into Esquire’s "Restaurant Hall of Fame" and to the James Beard Foundation’s “Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America”. Highlands Bar and Grill was nominated for the sixth consecutive year by the James Beard Foundation for the Outstanding Restaurant Award in 2014. Stitt received the James Beard Award for Best Chef: Southeast in 2001, and was nominated in 2008 for Outstanding Chef. Chef Stitt has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Southern Foodways Alliance and was inducted into the Alabama Academy of Honor in 2009, the most distinguished award given to an Alabamian. He has appeared on the Martha Stewart Show, PBS’s Chefs A‘Field, ABC’s Nightline and the CBS Early Show. His restaurants are regularly featured in top national and regional outlets such as The New York TimesMen’s Journal,EsquireFood ArtsMen’s HealthSaveurCooking LightWall Street JournalFood & WineSouthern Living and Garden & Gun

 

Stitt lives in Birmingham with his wife and business partner, Pardis. He has two children, Marie and Weston. The Stitts have a working farm about an hour away from Birmingham, where they raise chickens, gather eggs and grow produce for use in all of their restaurants.

 

Websites:  www.highlandsbarandgrill.comwww.fonfonbham.com,www.bottegarestaurant.com

 

Latest Recipes

Roast Pork Loin Stuffed with Rosemary, Bacon, and Onions

Stuffing a pork loin requires a little patience, but the results can be beautiful and show how a few simple ingredients—onion, rosemary, ...

(1 Votes)

Wilted Greens

Collard, turnip, and mustard greens are the traditional "greens" of the South. Typically, a big pot of water with ham hocks, or some othe...

(1 Votes)

Peach Crostata

Crostatas are rustic, free-form tarts that usually, enclose flavorful fruit. Because of their design, there is lots of crisp buttery past...

(1 Votes)

Sweet Potato Tart with Coconut Crust and Pecan Streusel

This dessert has been the grand finale for every type of fancy dinner at Highlands, from museum balls we’ve catered to family Thanksgivin...

(1 Votes)

Italian Cobb Salad

Who doesn’t like classic Cobb salad? Here we add endive, watercress, and radicchio instead of romaine and prosciutto in lieu of bacon. Th...

(1 Votes)

Blue Cheese Dressing

We dress our Italian Cobb Salad  with this rich and creamy dressing. Substitute Stilton or Fourme d’Ambert blue cheese.

(1 Votes)

Sherry Vinaigrette

The complex, nutty, and intriguing aroma and flavor of good Spanish sherry vinegar makes this the staple vinaigrette at Bottega.

(1 Votes)

Farm Eggs with Tapenade

This may be far removed from anyone’s expectations of stellar food, but give me a few of these on a picnic with a crackling cold Tocai Fr...

(1 Votes)

Tapenade

This olive mixture is superb as a topping or crostini, a pungent sauce for grilled tuna, or as an addition to deviled eggs. Try it with F...

(1 Votes)

Homemade Mayonnaise

Homemade mayonnaise is one of the most versatile sauces there is. During my first book tour, a Southern grande dame exclaimed, “Southern ...

(1 Votes)

Figs and Prosciutto

One of the greatest first courses in summertime—ideally enjoyed on a shaded patio—is a plate of ripe, never-refrigerated figs, halved or ...

(1 Votes)

Garganelli with Spring Onions, Asparagus, and Peas

When springtime finally brings asparagus spears, bulb onions, and plump sweet peas, we combine them in dishes such as this. Just-picked f...

(1 Votes)

Capellini Gratin

I attribute this crispy, rich pasta preparation to George Germon from Al Forno in Providence. Rhode Island, who, along with his wonderful...

(1 Votes)

Bottega Chicken Scaloppine

This is the most-ordered dish at Bottega Café—it’s just the right combination of crisp, golden crust and juicy, moist chicken. We serve i...

(1 Votes)

Bread Crumbs

Forget the pulverized versions in a supermarket canister—perfect crumbs are not uniform in size. To get truly crunchy toppings or crisp c...

(1 Votes)

Veal Milanese

Making bread crumbs properly is worth the effort; the result is a combination of crunchy, fine, and coarse. The mild, tender veal, cloake...

(1 Votes)

Lamb Spiedini with Sicilian Couscous and Yogurt Sauce

Picture a summer cookout with friends: The grill is fired up and rosemary “arrows” skewer lamb kebabs, imparting a wonderful woodsy flavo...

(1 Votes)

Butter Beans

Fresh summer baby green limas, known locally as “butter beans,” are highly prized in the South—they command a higher price than other pea...

(1 Votes)

Fried Okra

Prepared well, fried okra embodies the flavors of a primal southern garden. The problem is that most commercial establishments go too hea...

(1 Votes)

Highlands Baked Grits

This signature appetizer is simple southern with a little finesse. The grits are baked in individual ramekins, then served with a buttery...

(1 Votes)

Fried Oysters with Spicy Rémoulade

Out of all the attempts to present an exciting easy-to-eat hors d’oeuvre, few please quite like these, simple, crisp, yet juicy morsels o...

(1 Votes)

Homemade Mayonnaise

While quality commercial mayonnaise is readily available, nothing compares with mayonnaise made from scratch. There is a liveliness to ho...

(1 Votes)

Spiced Pecans

Neither cloyingly sweet nor overly salty, these nuts derive their heightened flavor from rosemary with a kick of cayenne pepper.

(1 Votes)

Spring Lettuces with Sweet Peas, Chives, Dill, and Mint

Herb leaves are a standout when used as a major component in a salad. Pile them on and mix them up—replace the dill with chervil or basil...

(1 Votes)

Fried Quail with Cornmeal Crust and Scrambled Egg Salad

An unlikely marriage: the old southern standby of fried quail and an innovation on a Tuscan salad introduced to me by my friend Cesare Ca...

(1 Votes)

Sherry Vinaigrette

Spanish sherry vinegar has a superb complex flavor—similar to a great aged wine. The best-quality sherry vinegars come from the Andalusia...

(1 Votes)

Red Snapper with Provencal Tomato Sauce

The red snapper brought in from about one hundred miles on either side of Destin, Florida, are the best-of-the-best—this is our fishin’ s...

(1 Votes)

Balsamic Vinaigrette

Make sure to use a good-quality balsamic vinegar. At the restaurant we use II Buon Ansalo, a wonderful artisanal vinegar.

(1 Votes)

Roast Quail with Apples and Pecans

Throughout the season, quail is always on the Highlands menu. Because of their size, quail make a perfect appetizer. We stuff them with h...

(1 Votes)
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