In today's Washington Post food section Maestro's Fabio Trabocchi receives a great deal of attention in a lengthy page wide headline article which is linked below. On Sunday the James Beard Society will give out it's "Oscars," one of which Fabio is nominated for, the national Rising Star Chef of the Year. This is the second year in a row that the 30 year old Fabio has been nominated.
He is expected by many to win.
As noted by the Post over the years many who have won this award have gone on to establish a national, even an international reputation as among the world's best chefs. In my opinion, and as many on this board know, Fabio already is one of the world's best. In December my wife and I had dinner at Le Calandre outside of Padua whose chef, Massimiliano is the youngest three Michelin star chef in history. This was our second visit to this, considered by many to be Italy's best restaurant. Two weeks later we celebrated my wife's birthday at Maestro.
Fabio is Massimiliano's equal.
In February John B. and I organized a private 14 course, five hour dinner for 58 of us at Maestro where, for only the third time, the restaurant was closed to a private party. (The other two were the James Beard Scoiety and Chaine des Rotisseurs (sp?) )This is the link to one of three sets of photos of that incredible dinner: http://share-dell.shutterfly.com/acti...
I write this because it is noted in the Post's enthusiastic article about Fabio that "Nevertheless, the award would increase his star power -- and would-be backers, too. Someday, the allure of having his own restaurant or moving to another city could certainly beckon." Although I do NOT know for certain I would be surprised if there are not already others who would like to have him move to their city-somewhere on earth (he cooked in Moscow, London, Rimini, Spain and for Gualtiero Marchesi, Italy's first three Michelin star chef before coming to D. C.)-and have already made overtures. I expect him to win this award. I also expect him to be tempted to at least entertain other offers.
Today, Maestro under Fabio is Washington's best restaurant. I believe that he is already one of America's best chefs and Massimiliano's equal at Le Calandre, the restaurant that is most similar to Maestro. For those on this board that have never been you should give serious consideration to going NOW. The wait is already over a month for a Friday or Saturday night reservation. When he wins it will be almost impossible to get in on a weekend.
I sincerely hope that he, Emmanuele (as good as anyone anywhere in the "front of the room")and Vincent (James Beard award winning sommelier formerly with Jean Louis at the Watergate) stay and "grow old" with us in the D. C. area. But I'm afraid they may not. If you go don't hold back. Order the seven course tasting for $125 prix fixe which is really a true bargain. (If this were not subsidized by Ritz Carlton this could easily be a $200 prix fixe dinner-it runs including several amuse and pre dessert a total of 10+ courses and takes over three hours.)
We should enjoy-and celebrate-Fabio and Maestro while we can. One day we may have to cross an ocean to find this level of excellence. For now we only need visit Tyson's.