Try Not to Drool…

It takes a lot for the Insider to lust after or drool for a dinner. Not that I’m jaded or anything. I can lust after a perfectly grilled hot dog as easily as a nice steak or seven course tasting menu. Saying all that, there’s one upcoming dinner that would knock my socks off and it’s at Chef Ken Frank’s La Toque where he’s hosting three other fab chefs who are going to work their magic with truffles at the Truffles & Wine flagship dinner as part of the upcoming Napa Truffle Festival on Sat Jan 18th at 6: 30 pm.

Don’t miss La Toque’s fabulous annual ‘Black & White Affair’ New Year’s Eve Gala Dinner and Party at 7:30 pm.

Since Chef Ken Frank has been a great supporter of the Napa Truffle Festival since its inception, thought it would be cool to get the chef to do the NSI quiz and he didn’t disappoint. Cheers and enjoy.

What was last night’s dinner? Chicken enchilada.. (staff meal?) Of course, it’s not on our menu, but the staff loved it.

Favorite drink? Red Burgundy, it doesn’t matter which winery, there’s so many, just so good..

Favorite dining spot in Napa besides La Toque?  I like Compline (Winebar & Restaurant) on 1st. Fantastic wine selection with some tasty treats in terms of food, whether it be appys, lunch or dinner. 

Favorite music? I’ve got a ton of selection of old blues, jazz and rock n’ roll records and bootlegs that I still love to play. (me too.. the Stones in Netherlands 73 is awesome…)

Favorite thing about living and working in Napa? I came here 21 years ago and it was the smartest decision I ever made. Just love everything about it. Great community, great wine, great people, what’s not to love??

Any brush with celebrity?  When I was in L.A. I cooked for B.B. King which was a thrill and he liked my salmon.

What makes a great restaurant?  The people.  It all starts with the staff, from the dishwashers to the cooks to the wait staff. If you’re not all on the same page, you’re done.

Any wine, meal or place to visit on your bucket list?  I’m going to dive the Great Barrier Reef in Australia in February which I think will be incredible.. (I did it 30 years ago and it was, even snorkeling it was a gas..) Ken said he grows coral in his tanks so he’s in for a treat…  

Final thoughts? I’m really looking forward to cooking with Michael Smith from the Farina restaurant in Kansas City, a James Beard awarded chef who will be a joy to collaborate with for our dinner at the Napa Truffle Festival.