One of the fringe benefits of my new gig writing for Brett Zimmerman’s Boulder Wine Merchant is access to one of my favorite restaurants in the world, Frasca, in Boulder.
That’s Brett’s fellow Master Sommelier Bobby Stuckey (right), with his father (left), in case you didn’t notice the resemblance.
I’m a big fan of Bobby’s dad.
I traveled with Bobby in Italy in 2010, not long after their family’s home state, Arizona, passed legislation that required law enforcement to determine people’s immigration status during a “lawful” stop. (See the Wiki entry on the controversial law here.)
After the law’s passage, Bobby’s dad had issue pins printed up. A simple white button with black typeface, the pins read “I could be illegal.”
I still wear my pin proudly on my camera bag, which follows me nearly everywhere I go. And I was thrilled to meet Mr. Stuckey and thank him for his subtle yet powerful protest of this dishuman law.
I didn’t have time for a proper meal at Frasca. But there was no way I was leaving Boulder without a taste of the restaurant’s charcuterie plate, dressed with Prosciutto di San Daniele, speck, and cacciatorino.
The prosciutto had been expertly sliced on a refurbished 1933 Berkel slicer, said the server, whose confidence in presenting the ham and salame was rivaled only by the ease with which he pronounced the names of the cured meats and explained their origins.
One of the greatest gastronomic tragedies of our generation is the way U.S. food professionals improperly slice, destroy, and waste prosciutto. As Frasca’s chef/owner Lachlan Patterson, Bobby’s business partner, will tell you: you need a properly beveled blade, operated at a slower speed, to slice prosciutto correctly. Otherwise, the friction and consequent heat caused by a blade like those on a Hobart slicer, for example, will cause the prosciutto to liquify.
The staff at Bobby and Lachlan’s Frasca is always confident, expertly prepared, and energetic.
That’s sommelier Carlin Karr, who left a great job in San Francisco to come work with Bobby and his wine team.
She poured me a fantastic glass of Doro Princic Malvasia and talked to me about the team’s herculean efforts in obtaining this coveted bottling.
In the light of the fact that so many of Bobby’s protégés have gone on to become wine super stars, I imagine that Carlin has great things in store for her. And I’m looking forward to following her career.
I won’t be heading back up to Colorado again for some months but I’ll look forward, as always, to the extraordinary experience of Frasca.
Chapeau bas, Bobby and Lachlan… If only we could send you across the country to show folks how it’s done right.