Last month, Frasca Food and Wine took a deep dive into the past when chef-owner Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson and executive co-chefs Kelly Jeun and Eduardo Valle Lobo traveled to top-rated “Gourmand property” Blackberry Farm outside of Knoxville, Tennessee. The purpose was dual: Mackinnon-Patterson would ride in Blackberry’s annual (grueling) Pro-Am Classic bike race and then cook for the riders at the awards dinner. As a bonus, Jordan Wallace of Pizzeria Locale also traveled to the farm to refuel (and wow) cyclists with the restaurant’s wood-fired pizzas.
Inspiration for the dinner menu came from a 2015 cycling trip that Mackinnon-Patterson and Frasca co-owner and master sommelier Bobby Stuckey took to Friuli, Italy, in tandem with Sam Beall, the late proprietor of Blackberry Farm. A highlight of that trip was dinner at Orsone Ristorante, Joe and Lidia Bastianich’s first European outpost. After a spectacular feast, the assembled crew asked to speak to the chef and out stepped…Kelly Jeun and Eduardo Valle Lobo.
That dinner made such an impression that Mackinnon-Patterson and Stuckey spoke of the chefs often, almost wishing them into the Frasca kitchen. And, as serendipity would have it, in February Jeun and Valle Lobo became Frasca’s first-ever co-chefs de cuisine.
At Blackberry, the trio recreated (to a certain extent) the meal that first introduced Mackinnon-Patterson and Stuckey (and Blackberry’s Beall) to Jeun and Valle’s cooking. For Mackinnon-Patterson it was a full-circle evening that recalled “Frasca’s early days,” he says.
For those guests without a tie to the Boulder restaurant, well, they still happily feasted on dishes such as risotto cacio e pere (a take on cacio e pepe but reinvented with pear and balsamic vinegar) and lamb chop and saddle on polenta and hay-smoked potatoes. The meal’s showstopper, however, was the canapé course (pictured) with corn zabaglione with Benton’s Bacon served in an eggshell; squash blossom stuffed with zucchini and mint; and scallop canederil (bread dumpling) with chive aioli and chive flower.
Closer to home: The collaboration continues with a Blackberry Farm Brewery tap takeover at Tavernetta on Thursday, October 18, when five beers, including the acclaimed Classic Saison, will be available by the glass, 750 ml bottles, and/or 375 ml bottles. BFB’s Kyle Morgan will be there and Tavernetta chef Ian Wortham will prepare special happy hour offerings to pair with each of the beers. 1889 Sixteenth St., 720-605-1889