On the Top Chef episode “Carne!”, Hollywood screenwriter and actress Lena Waithe (Master of None) surprises the chefs. She informs them of their next challenge: to make the trademark Kentucky dish, the Hot Brown. The famous Louisville dish is an open-faced sandwich consisting of turkey and bacon and Mornay sauce. It can be baked or broiled. It’s called the Hot Brown because it was created in the 1920s by Chef Fred Schmidt at The Brown Hotel.
Chef Nancy Silverton (see cookbook link above) brings her friend, Italian butcher Dario Cecchini from Panzano in the Chianti region, to break down a whole cow for the chefs to work with. Cecchini was born to be a butcher. His father was the butcher of Panzano. He is the eighth generation of Cecchini butchers. Dario studied to become a veterinarian at the university in Pisa before he took over the family business in 1976, when his father died. There will be no ninth generation family butcher in Panzano: Cecchini and his American wife have no children.
Weeks prior to the Top Chef episode airing, Cecchini opened a steakhouse in The Bahamas. In December 2018, he opened Carna at the Nassau resort Baha Mar. American Executive Chef Thomas E. Griese, who trained in Panzano with Cecchini, is handling the day-to-day operations. Top Chef airs Thursdays at 8 pm on Bravo.