Frank Stitt’s fondness for humble Southern ingredients comes from his roots in rural Cullman, Alabama, where he developed an early connection to food, to the land, and to farming. His culinary journey began to take shape when he moved to San Francisco, where he honed his kitchen skills at various restaurants, including the now legendary Chez Panisse. In 1977, he moved to the South of France to work for Richard Olney, who was compiling a multi-volume Time–Life series on cooking at the time. Frank eventually made his way back to the American South and returned to the foods and traditions of his childhood. Those roots, combined with his culinary experiences and adventurous spirit, led him to create a singular, deeply rich, and passionate approach to food. Highly committed to the ideals of humane animal husbandry and sustainable agriculture, Frank was among the first Alabama chefs and restaurateurs to champion these practices. In 2001, he received the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: Southeast, and in 2008, he was nominated for Outstanding Chef. Frank also received the Craig Claiborne Lifetime Achievement Award from the Southern Foodways Alliance in 2006, and he was inducted into the Alabama Academy of Honor in 2009, the most distinguished award given to an Alabamian. Two years later, Esquire magazine inducted him into their Restaurant Hall of Fame, and he was also named to the James Beard Foundation’s “Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America”.
Awards & Press
- James Beard Award