No. 67: Frico caldo from Frasca Food & Wine
Colorado's pope of Friulian cooking, Lachlan MacKinnon-Patterson is a madman on the stove, a genius who bats around a menu that's full of wonderous dishes, and one of the few chefs we know who wears a toque -- and wears it with reverence. He's the star basketball player running the court, the pool shark bumping balls, one by one, into the corner pocket, the guy with the impeccable technique of a chef twice his age. He's the chef of Boulder's Frasca Food & Wine, and he knows, more than any chef we can name, how to transform the humble, lowly, plebeian potato into unassailable nobility.
It goes by an Italian name -- frico caldo -- and in someone else's hands, it might be nothing more than a standard potato cake, but here, in this kitchen, it emerges in all its exquisite elegance: triangles of crisp-edged Yukon Gold potatoes enhanced with onions and Piave and crowned with dots of speck and a cilantro-laced mound sharpened with a thimbleful of sherry vinegar. One order is never enough; neither is two. But that's the thing with MacKinnon-Patterson: He can make even the pedestrian potato taste better than, well, just about anything.
Hungry for more? All the dishes in our countdown are linked below:
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In late 2009, we embarked on a culinary journey that took us through our favorite dishes in the Mile High City -- one hundred, to be exact -- as a precursor to the Best of Denver 2010 issue. Now we're back with round two, counting down (in no particular order) a hundred more of our favorite Denver dishes in a list that, by our imperfect calculations, should be wrapped up by the time the Best of Denver 2011 hits the streets on March 31. In the meantime, if there's a dish you think we need to try, tell us about it in the comments section below, or shoot us an e-mail at email@example.com.