Frank Stitt • Frank Stitt is involved with Slow Food. He and his wife, Pardis, founded the Slow Food chapter in Birmingham in 2006, and is a standing board member of the Jones Valley Urban Farm and Pepper Place Farmer’s Market, both in Birmingham.
Recognizing a responsibility to promote sustainable agriculture, Stitt uses produce from area farmers at his restaurants whenever possible. He was one of the first Alabama chefs/restaurateurs to champion sustainable agriculture, and his influence in this area has been noted in his community and beyond.
"Close your eyes, and imagine sweet, plump scallops, perfectly seared and paired with a succotash of garden-fresh corn, cherry tomatoes, and lima beans. Or creamy grits against a bite of pork tenderloin sweetened with a touch of fresh peach relish." ~ Karen Lingo, Southern Living
His flagship restaurant, Highlands Bar and Grill, opened in 1982, and its menu combines simple southern ingredients, such as stone ground grits and country ham, with French sauces and braises. The result is superb, delicately balanced flavors. Highlands was an immediate success, and soon after, he opened Bottega in1988, Café Bottega in 1990, and Chez Fonfon in 2000 — all in Birmingham.
"After a year of immersion in French cooking and life, Frank returned to the States. Surely the kitchen doors of the best restaurants in the country would have opened to the talented young cook, including Alice Waters‘ Chez Panisse, back in Berkeley, where he had interned alongside many future culinary stars: Mark Miller, Jonathon Waxman, and Jeremiah Tower — among other Waters friends and protégées. This generation of brilliant chefs would soon spread the gospel of American regional cuisine in their own revolutionary restaurants around the country." ~ Moreton Neal, Garden & Gun
2004 marked the release of Stitt’s first cookbook, Frank Stitt’s Southern Table, Recipes and Gracious Traditions from Highlands Bar and Grill. The Southeastern Booksellers Association named Southern Table the best cookbook of 2005. Stitt’s second cookbook, Bottega Favorita: A Southern Chef’s Love Affair With Italian Food, was released nationally in January 2009. Bottega Favorita showcases Stitt’s love of the Mediterranean and Italy.
"Frank Stitt, III, is a renowned chef, accomplished cookbook writer, and highly successful restaurateur. During the past two decades, he has set national standards for culinary excellence and put Birmingham on the map as home to world-class dining." ~ Alabama Academy of Honor
Highlands Bar and Grill was nominated for the third time by the James Beard Foundation for the 2011 Most Outstanding Restaurant. Stitt received the James Beard Award for Best Chef: Southeast in 2001, and was nominated in 2008 for Outstanding Chef. In 2006, he 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 Times, Food Arts, Southern Living, Garden & Gun and Newsweek.
For More Information
FaceBook • www.facebook.com/pages/Frank-Stitt/183440338372572
WebSite • www.highlandsbarandgrill.com
Article • Garden & Gun, "The Gentleman Chef"
Article • Southern Living, "Chef Frank Stitt, Birmingham"
Audio • NPR, "Alabama Chef Up For ‘Oscar’ Of The Food World"
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