Q & A with Fiola's Fabbio Trabocchi

Fabbio Trabocchi of Fiola, nominated for the James Beard Foundation's Best New Restaurant award

 

When the Washington, D.C.-based eatery Fiola opened its doors in 2011, it was immediately met with rave reviews for its seasonally driven Italian cuisine—and now it's nominated for our Best New Restaurant award. We got in touch with chef/owner and JBF Award Winner Fabio Trabocchi to discuss what inspired him to become a chef, his favorite spring dish, and what he considers to be the best resource on authentic Italian cuisine.

 

JBF: What’s the significance of the name Fiola?
 
FT: It’s a word from an Italian dialect from the Le Marche region of Italy, which is where I’m from. It’s comparable to "sweetheart" in English.
 
JBF: What’s your favorite dish on the menu right now and why?
 
FT: Anything that involves shellfish, seafood, and spring vegetables. One of my favorite... Read more >

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Q & A with Dave Beran of Next

JBF senior editor Anna Mowry interviews with JBF Award nominee Dave Beran of Next

 

Among Chicago’s strong showing in the JBF Award nominations, Grant Achatz’s massively popular Next boasts two nods: the restaurant itself is up for Best New Restaurant, while its executive chef, Alinea alum Dave Beran, is nominated for our Rising Star Chef of the Year award. We chatted with chef Beran about Next’s future, inspirational cookbooks, and his favorite meal of the past year. 

 

JBF: We’ve heard that there are Sicily and Kyoto menus in the pipeline for Next. Have you guys done any brainstorming about other periods in history or cuisines that you’d like the tackle this year or beyond?

 

DB: So far those are the only historical menus planned for 2012. I’ve been interested in a menu pertaining to pre- and post-Imperialist India—sort of a compare and contrast thing. There... Read more >

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Our Final Winners!

Best New Restaurant (Presented by Mercedes-Benz): ABC Kitchen, NYC, Chef/Owner: Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Owner: Phil Suarez

Outstanding Restaurateur Award: Richard Melman, Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, Chicago

Outstanding Restaurant Award: Eleven Madison Park, NYC, Owner: Danny Meyer

Outstanding Chef Award: José Andrés, minibar, Washington, D.C.

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Awards Watch: Dan Kluger, where were you when…?

Dan Kluger, chef of Best New Restaurant winner ABC Kitchen, told us he had a good feeling that they would be nominated, but had no idea that they would come up big tonight: “We had a good feeling about it. It was a Monday, my day off, so I was home and had decided to try to follow the announcements on Twitter. I started receiving a lot of nice congratulatory emails. We hoped for something like this, but you can never expect it. It’s amazing to be nominated.” Congratulations, Dan! And to all the nominees and winners tonight!

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Awards Watch: Matt Jennings, where were you when…?

Matt Jennings of La Laiterie in Providence was headed back from a sourcing trip to Vermont with his staff when they got the news that he was nominated for Best Chef: Northeast: “So there we were, in northern New Hampshire, in a big rented van that smelled like wet farm animal, with glass bottles of maple syrup clanking around in the back and the crew singing along to “Bennie and the Jets,” when all of a sudden, we came within cell phone range and all of our phones started bleeping and blinging. Text messages arrived from other staff, friends, and family, and we logged onto Twitter to discover it was true—we had made the final cut! We were temped to pull over to the nearest bar for a quick shot, but we were still about a three-hour drive from home!”

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Even More Winners!

Outstanding Restaurant Design: Darling Design, Bar Agricole, San Francisco Outstanding Restaurant Graphics: Love and War, The National Bar & Dining Rooms, NYC Outstanding Service Award (Presented By Stella Artois): Per Se, NYC, Chef/Owner: Thomas Keller Outstanding Pastry Chef Award: Angela Pinkerton, Eleven Madison Park, NYC The final awards of the night are up next, including the coveted Outstanding Chef award, so stay tuned!

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Awards Watch: Angela Pinkerton, where were you when…?

“I was actually in the midst of a busy lunch service when our GM/executive chef’s assistant Amy Livingston had someone on the staff come tell me that she needed to see me right away. I came into the office, which was filled with some of the sous-chefs and dining room managers and they began clapping. She told me I was nominated! I guarantee my face was red from blushing! Later that night I did get a chance to celebrate with one of my very close friends, a bottle of Champagne, and dance floor! –Angela Pinkerton of Eleven Madison Park, nominated for Outstanding Pastry Chef

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More Winners!

Best Chef: Northeast: Tony Maws, Craigie On Main, Cambridge, MA Best Chef: Pacific: Michael Tusk, Quince, San Francisco Best Chef: Northwest: Andy Ricker, Pok Pok, Portland, OR Best Chef: South: Stephen Stryjewski, Cochon, New Orleans Best Chef: Southeast: Andrea Reusing, Lantern, Chapel Hill, NC Best Chef: Southwest: Saipin Chutima, Lotus of Siam, Las Vegas AND Tyson Cole, Uchi, Austin, TX Coming up, our design and graphics honors, the award for Outstanding Service, and more!

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Awards Watch: Craig Deihl, where were you when…?

“I got the good word while I was elbow deep in ice receiving a shipment from a local fishmonger. Ice went flying everywhere when I threw my hands in air. I think I scared my new stage a bit.” –Craig Deihl of Cypress in Charleston, S.C., on what he was doing when he found out he was nominated for Best Chef: Southeast.

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Winners!

Rising Star Chef of the Year Award: Gabriel Rucker, Le Pigeon, Portland, OR Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional Award (Presented by Southern Wine & Spirits of New York): Julian P. Van Winkle, III, Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery, Louisville, KY Outstanding Wine Service Award: The Modern, NYC, Wine Director: Belinda Chang Best Chef: Great Lakes: Alex Young, Zingerman's Roadhouse, Ann Arbor, MI Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic: Michael Solomonov, Zahav, Philadelphia Best Chef: Midwest: Isaac Becker, 112 Eatery, Minneapolis Best Chef: New York City: Gabrielle Hamilton, Prune Next up, the Regional Best Chef Awards continue with Northeast, Pacific, Northwest, and more…

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