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Chef Lachlan Mackinnon Patterson moved to Boulder in 2003 to open Frasca Food and Wine. He met his current business partner, sommelier Bobby Stuckey, at The French Laundry in Yountville, California, where they both worked with chef Thomas Keller.

While chef Lachlan's career began at the Old Warson Country Club in St. Louis, Missouri, it was time spent in France that really impacted his feelings about food.

In 1999 he moved to Paris to obtain his Certificate d'Aptitude Professionnelle at the prestigious Ecole Gregoire-Ferrandi. After completing his training, he apprenticed with Benoit Guichard at the famed Jamin, a Michelin two-star restaurant renowned for its classic French cuisine. Thereafter, he continued to hone his culinary skills working under owner and chef Guy Guilloux at La Taupiniere, a Michelin rated one-star restaurant in Pont Aven, Brittany.

Please tell us about your menu at Frasca Food and Wine?

Our menu at Frasca is inspired by the region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, with a little bit of our own twist to it. We like to say that we make Italian food that you haven’t seen before. Of course, with our biggest influence being the region of Friuli.


What was it about that region that inspired you?

Actually, before visiting the region of Friuli, we knew that we wanted to call our restaurant Frasca, which are friendly and informal gathering places in Friuli - basically a destination for farmers, friends and families to share a meal and a bottle of wine. Once we figured out what we wanted to call our restaurant, Bobby and I went to Friuli to learn everything there was to learn about food and wine in the region. What we found was instead of the traditional mozzarella or pasta you find in other regions in Italy, people in Friuli were using lots of beans, cabbage, polenta and smoked meats.

Basically the region of Friuli has a broad brushstroke influence from other parts of Europe such as Austria and Slovenia. We found the way of cooking was very approachable which only reinforced our mind on our restaurant concept.


How did you and Bobby Stucky decide to open a restaurant together, why Boulder, and what are the most important aspects of your working relationship?

Bobby and I didn’t actually know each other that well when we were working at the French Laundry, but did share one very important philosophy: we both believe that the dynamic between the front of the house and back of the house is what makes a restaurant successful.

Bobby has this amazing Maitre D’ magic about him, there isn’t a better front of the house presence than Bobby. Also, we just work well together and always divide and conquer to get things done and that’s why we knew opening a restaurant together would work. Boulder was just this magical place, close enough to a big airport, but not too close either. Colorado was also a central place for Bobby, Bobby’s wife Danette and myself. It just worked.


What are the challenges of keeping within the philosophy of the Slow Food Organization?

No challenges at all. I just have to keep up with sustainable agriculture, and what is going on in the industry which is something that I’m very interested in and therefore doesn’t feel like a challenge.


You create a lot of perks for your staff, what are they and what’s the incentive to do this?

One of our goals at Frasca is staff retention, but we also want them to feel there is a sort of community where everyone is treated fairly and equally. I have to say our staff retention is extremely high at Frasca. Some of the perks include going on a staff trip to Friuli where everyone learns about the region, food and wine first hand. We also host a variety of wine education classes every week which have been very well received by our employees.


You’ve lived and worked in some very special places- Paris, Brittany, Napa, Boulder, which would you say has been the most influential culinary experience for you?

Paris without a doubt, there isn’t another place in the world that has as many specialty shops as Paris. As I like to say, everyone in Paris is completely geeked out in their profession. There are no pretenders in Paris, everyone is the real deal.


Thomas Keller is one of the most revered chefs, what was it like to work with him on a day-to-day basis?

Great. Thomas is one of the most organized and best motivators I have ever worked for. I worked with him when the restaurant was one of the few endeavors he was working on, which made him a lot more accessible to the staff at The French Laundry.  When he was working services it was truly inspiring. I feel lucky and proud to say I have worked with Thomas and this has definitely impacted my restaurant in only a good way.  


What was it like competing on Bravo’s Top Chef Masters? Would you do it again?

Exhausting, but tons of fun. I would do it again in a second. I think the concept is genius and loved competing for a charitable cause. I also loved working with so many amazing chefs in a way that I have never had the chance to before.


Who are the purveyors that inspire your creativity? 

Nationally: A.G. Ferrari for fine Italian products

Locally: Haystack Mountain Goat Dairy

I’m inspired by Boulder’s local farmers, but the problem is in Colorado we don’t have a year round season because of all the snow we get. I love spring for so many reasons mainly because it means working with the local farmers again.


What is your least favorite new culinary trend and why?

I’m really not a big fan of foams, mainly because they get cold in less than a minute. I think they are a lot of show and not a lot of go.

Do you have a go to knife, gadget or ingredient that you would advise a home cook to stock?

Any home cook should invest in a microplane. At the restaurant, we love using it to make horseradish. But really, it can be used for so many things such as grating parmiggiano and grating citruses. It is definitely an underrated piece of culinary equipment that everyone should have.


Who else in your field is doing interesting things that you think should deserve more praise and why?

Michael Tusk: doesn’t get enough respect in the culinary world. I just cannot believe he hasn’t won Best Chef California yet. I vote for him every year and hopefully this year he will win the award. I just think he is one of the most passionate smart food guys out there, but just doesn’t get enough prestige.

Sam Beall, Blackberry Farms: is another guy who I think doesn’t get enough of culinary press. He has reinvented the Tennessee food scene in so many ways and has the most amazing educational culinary courses in the country.


Won’t break the bank, but has killer food?

Anchor and Hope (San Francisco): great seafood, great owners,  killer atmosphere, real soul.

Off the beaten track places to eat, that you’d be excited to take an adventurous eater?

Alle Testiere: a great Venetian restaurant with only 9 tables. Amazing, interesting food that always blows me away. I also love that the chef and owner are there every single night they are opened.

You’ve said Paris has the best food in the world... what are the most essential dishes or food we should eat there and where should we go to eat them?

Gerard Mulot: killer chocolate croissant.

Le Dome: great fish, amazing butter.

La Maison Kayser: great Alsatian bakery.


Favorite places:

France - L’Ambroisie: best 3 star in the world.

Friuli region: Al Parco.

Your hometown (St. Louis): Niche Restaurant.

Boulder: The Kitchen.

Vail: Kelly Liken.

Napa: Bottega.


Frico Caldo

Recipe Courtesy of Lachlan Mackinnon Patterson


- 9 ounces Yukon Gold potato (approximately 1 large potato)

- 2 ounces onions (approximately 1/2 onion) 

- 4 ounces grated Montasio (Piave cheese or aged Montasio)

- pinch salt

- grated nutmeg to taste

- tab of butter

- 16-20 pieces of thinly sliced speck

Cilantro Vinegar

- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

- 2 tablespoons grape seed oil

- 2 teaspoons shallot minced

- Sherry Vinegar to taste

- Salt to taste


First poach Yukon gold potato in a pot with salted water until tender (this may take up to forty-five minutes to one hour).  When cooked, peel the potato and crush them into small pieces.  Then mince the half onion. Bring the sauté pan to moderate heat and add butter. Place the minced onions into the sauté pan. Slightly sweat the onions until translucent and sweet.  Mix all the ingredients together in a mixing bowl; be sure not to over mix.

Heat a Cast Iron/Teflon pan on high heat. Lightly grease the pan and add half of the potato mixture. Let the potato cook on one side for 5 minutes, until golden brown. Then using a spatula, flip the Frico to complete cooking for 5 minutes. Repeat the process with the other half of mixture.

Mix the components of the cilantro vinegar together. Cut the Frico into wedges and serve with the cilantro vinegar.

Serve 2 slices of the speck with each wedge of Frico.


1738 Pearl Street

Boulder, CO 80302 (view map)

T: 303.442.6966 (make a reservation)



Mon - Sat: 5:30pm -

Sun: closed


Lachlan Mackinnon Patterson’s recommendations on what purveyors to buy from and where to eat in California, Colorado, Missouri, France, and Italy.

Lachlan Mackinnon Patterson’s recommendations on what purveyors to buy from and where to eat in California, Colorado, Missouri, France, and Italy.