After learning and honing his kitchen skills in various Bay Area restaurants, he was finally allowed into the kitchen of the now legendary Chez Panisse. After, Stitt was able to work with Jeremiah Tower, Elizabeth David, Stephen Spurrier and Simca Beck, eventually traveling throughout the French countryside. Frank worked in vineyards in Provence and Burgundy then returned home to the foods and traditions that continue to be so much a part of his present day vision. Stitt opened his first restaurant, Highlands Bar & Grill in Birmingham in 1982. Highlands was an immediate success, and Frank soon after opened Bottega and Café Bottega. In 2000, he opened Chez Fonfon. Frank published his first cookbook, Frank Stitt’s Southern Table, Recipe and Gracious Traditions from Highlands Bar & Grill in 2005 and his second book, Bottega Favorita: A Southern Chef's Love Affair With Italian Food, soon after. Stitt received the James Beard Award for Best Chef of the Southeast in 2001 and was most recently nominated for the 2008 James Beard Award for Outstanding Chef.