Frasca Food and Wine is taking the meaning of “friends and family” to a new level this fall. Within the restaurant industry, that phrase traditionally refers to the industry peers and staff’s personal friends and family members who are invited to the first few practice meals at a restaurant during its opening days; attendees provide feedback so the new restaurant’s operations can improve before its doors open to the public. But at Frasca on November 5 and 6, friends and family will refer to the acclaimed chefs and beverage pros who are returning to the storied Boulder restaurant to celebrate its 15th anniversary.
Of course, co-founder and Master Sommelier Bobby Stuckey will be there, as well as partners Peter Hoglund, founding chef Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson, co-executive chefs Kelly Jeun and Eduardo Valle Lobo, wine director Carlin Karr, sommelier Matthew Mather, and general manager Rose Votta; the last two have been with the Frasca team since day one.
Choosing the roster of visiting guest chefs and somms was a nostalgic exercise. “Alumni-wise, we thought about the people who made a major influence on Frasca when they were with us,” says Stuckey. “Going back 15 years, Nate Ready [Master Sommelier, owner-winemaker of Hiyu Farm and Smockshop Band in Hood River, Oregon] made a massive impact on the restaurant that people still feel and ask about. Brian Lockwood [chef de cuisine of Eleven Madison Park in New York City] and Jared Sippel [chef-owner of Italienne in New York City] were co-chef de cuisines at the same time. Bryan Dayton [owner of Corrida, Oak at Fourteenth, Acorn, Brider] moved our bar program forward, and Allison Anderson [director of experience at Beckon, Call] took over after Bryan, bringing her own vision. That’s the family piece.”
As for Frasca’s industry friends, it was a no-brainer to invite chefs Marc Vetri (Vetri Cucina in Philadelphia) and Suzanne Goin (co-owner of Los Angeles-based the Lucques Group, which includes Lucques, a.o.c. Wine Bar, Tavern Restaurant, the Larder), and Goin’s partner, Caroline Styne (James Beard Award winner for Outstanding Wine Program and Restaurateur of the Year, and co-owner of Lucques Group). “We wanted to bring back people who have been with us since the beginning,” says Stuckey. “Our first pop-up dinner was with Suzanne 14 years ago, and she’s been our friend ever since. ” Vetri spends every August in Boulder with his family and is a regular guest chef at Frasca and neighboring Pizzeria Locale.
These long-time industry friendships have done more than just provide Frasca’s guests with memorable dining experiences. Visiting chefs have inspired Frasca cooks and front-of-house staff to open their own restaurants and bars or move up in the industry. “It’s about community and family,” says Stuckey. “The connections made at Frasca over its 15 years have been professional for our team and emotional for our guests. We can’t wait to welcome new and returning faces this fall.”
Tuesday, November 5 is “Friends of Frasca” night, featuring Goin and Vetri in the kitchen and Styne working the floor. On Wednesday, November 6, “Frasca Family” will be on hand, including Lockwood, Sippel, and Alex Hong (executive chef of Sorrel in San Francisco) on culinary duty and Anderson, Dayton, Ready, and Dustin Wilson (Master Sommelier and co-founder of Verve Wine) pouring wines.
Tickets for each dinner are $295 per person, including a reception, multi-course tasting menu, wine pairings, tax, and gratuity. Reservations can be made online for Tuesday, November 5 and Wednesday, November 6 or by calling Frasca at 303-443-6966.