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Meet the Sommelier: Bobby Stuckey - Master Sommelier/Owner, Frasca Food and Wine, Pizzeria Locale Boulder, Pizzeria Locale Denver

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Meet the Sommelier: Bobby Stuckey - Master Sommelier/Owner, Frasca Food and Wine, Pizzeria Locale Boulder, Pizzeria Locale Denver

With tenures at renowned restaurants such as The Little Nell in Aspen, CO and The French Laundry in Yountville, CA, Bobby Stuckey has cultivated wine programs and championed hospitality, garnering numerous accolades, including the James Beard Foundation's Outstanding Wine Service Award in 2000.

With the vision of opening a neighborhood restaurant reminiscent of the Italian frasca's they had visited in Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Stuckey and his business partner, chef Lachlan Mackinnon Patterson, opened their first restaurant, Frasca Food and Wine, in August 2004 in Boulder, CO.

In 2004, Stuckey also earned the MS Diploma from the Court of Master Sommeliers. In 2013 Frasca Food and Wine won Outstanding Wine Service at the James Beard Awards. In 2014, Stuckey was named Wine Enthusiast's Sommelier of the Year.

Broadwayworld.com had the opportunity to interview Bobby Stuckey for our "Meet the Sommelier" feature.

What special personal qualities or talents have enhanced your career?

I think a special talent or gift I have is that I was born with dyslexia and ADD. So for me, in school, it was always really difficult to be average. I had to work hard to be average. But now I think that it really helped me in the restaurant industry where hours are quite long. It's demanding and that seems normal because I had such great demands as a child in academia.

Who have been some of your professional mentors or individuals that have inspired your work?

I've been very lucky to have been inspired by some very incredible people in high school by Tom Kaufman and Chrysai Robertson (formerly Kaufman). Later on, in Aspen, Colorado by Connie Thornberg and Eric Calderon and then of course, Thomas Keller. I also find incredible inspiration from the many employees I've worked with over the years.

Tell us a little about your travel experiences as a sommelier. This can be local, regional or international.

It's funny, this is a hard topic, because I think traveling is so important for a sommelier, but also being in your restaurant is important too, which is kind of in conflict with each other. I think, for a sommelier, travel to wine regions is really important and I also believe a sommelier's need to travel to restaurants is in their vernacular. I always find it interesting that people or sommeliers don't invest in dining like the way they serve their guests. I think that is just as important as going to the wine regions.

Why do you find your career as a sommelier so rewarding?

For me, a sommelier is just another job description in the world of hospitality. So, I don't think of it as being a sommelier, I think of myself being a hospitality professional - and that is what's so important.

What is one of your favorite meals and what wine would you select for it?

One of my favorite meals is always sitting with the Sirk Family at La Subida in Friuli-Venezia Giulia having Tanja or her mom, Laura Donna, carving tableside Vitello Stinko, with some a very traditional dish of salads or greens. I usually love to have it with some great Friulano wine with some age.

Tell us a little about the restaurant or organization that you currently work with.

The organization I currently work with is Frasca Food and Wine INC; Frasca, Tavernetta and Pizzeria Locale. These are three full service restaurants and I really enjoy working with all three of them. One is very very fine dining, another is more casual Italian, and the third a Napoletana style pizzeria - each with a focus on hospitality and wine service.

Is there anything about Italian wines in particular that you feel most passionate about?

The incredible diversity. What makes wine great is its diversity and its discovery, and Italy offers both of those.

Learn about each of Italy's wine regions and their varietals by visiting: http://extraordinaryitalianwine.us/regions/.

For more information on Italian wines and the Italian Trade Agency, please visit: http://extraordinaryitalianwine.us/, And connect with them on social media.

Photo Credit: Mike Thurk


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