Chef Frank Stitt: "The Godfather of Southern Cuisine"

Chef Frank Stitt has created a constellation of outstanding restaurants in Birmingham, Alabama.  Highlands Bar and Grill received its ninth consecutive James Beard Award nomination for Outstanding Restaurant in America.  His impressive culinary journey includes working in the kitchen with the highly acclaimed pioneer of farm-to-table, Alice Waters at Chez Panisse and spending time in France perfecting the traditional techniques of French cuisine and pairing it with the flavor of the South.

Chef Stitt’s culinary vision was always to “nourish, excite and bring happiness with the food that’s served.”  He attributes much of his success to his wife, Pardis; his long-time front-of-the-house expert, Goren Avery, aka”Red Dog,” and  the “ninja of oyster shucking,” Guadalupe.

Chef Frank Stitt’s Tips for the Home Chef:

  1. Make a great vinaigrette.  Splurge and find high quality vinegars and quality oils. Use a ceramic bowl to macerate finely diced and perfectly sliced shallots in the vinegar with salt and pepper for ten or fifteen minutes and then add really good olive oil.
  2. Air dry meat and fish.  Take it out and pat it dry.  Put it on a rack and leave it in the refrigerator overnight.  Air drying concentrates the flavor and allows you to cook the next day a little bit more of a seared crust.
  3. Cure with salt, herbs or a brine.  We do a ten minute brine on our fish and it concentrates the flavor and allows you to get a better crust on the outside.

What’s your favorite dish at a Chef Frank Stitt restaurant?

Savor the day!


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