Above: Chef Frank Rizzuti (image via Dissapore).
Today, Italy’s wine and food community mourns the loss of pioneering Basilicata chef Frank Rizzuti, who has died of an unspecified illness.
Across the Italian enogastronomic blogosphere, Chef Rizzuti — the first Basilicata chef to receive a Michelin star — is being remembered today for drawing international attention to the burgeoning fine dining circuit in Basilicata, a region seldom visited by foreigners and often overlooked by the Italian food media.
“Francesco, known to Facebook friends as Frank,” writes leading Neapolitan journalist and food and wine blogger Luciano Pignataro on his blog, “was the first Basilicata chef to embrace the gastronomic revolution of the new Italian cuisine. First with his splendid work at the Antica Osteria Marconi and then with his consultation at Roberto Ceraudo’s restaurant Dattilo, where he won a Michelin star. His cooking was essential in style and he was able to play with tradition by making it easy to understand and interpret even beyond the borders of his beloved Basilicata.”
Rizzuti’s current project, the restaurant Cucina del Sud in Potenza (Basilicata), is widely considered one of the top restaurants in Italy today.
Its wine list includes one Prosecco: Bele Casel.
Sit tibi terra levis, Francisce.