Fox & the Knife - Taleggio Stuffed Focaccia
“I knew that I wanted to serve focaccia at Fox & the Knife; I just wasn’t sure exactly how. Did we bake it on sheet trays and cut it like Sicilian pizza? Did we shape it into individual loaves for each table? When I finally moved into the restaurant space, I found we had inherited a LOT of pie pans, and I needed to make use of every little thing we had. We opened with a small budget and needed to keep it that way. I knew immediately we would bake the focaccia in those pie pans. I originally wanted to top it with stracciatella, but as we tested it over and over, I knew that it wasn’t quite right. Finally, the idea came to fill it with a strong yummy cheese. Taleggio was a perfect foil for the focaccia, but it didn’t have that cheesy pull-ability I wanted. So, I added mozzarella and our focaccia was born! This dish remains everyone’s favorite. It eats like the most delicious grown-up grilled cheese. It was named one of the “Best Bites of 2019” by Food & Wine magazine, and that cheese pull was all over Instagram. Perfect for the bread baker in all of us that has emerged in the time of COVID-19.” – Karen Akunowicz
Not safe for a gluten or dairy allergy
This recipe gives back to No Kid Hungry.
"Millions of kids face hunger all across the United States, in every community. We have plenty of food in this country, and we have effective programs to feed kids. The problem is not enough families have access to them. No Kid Hungry is working to fix that." - Karen Akunowicz
CHEF & OWNER KAREN AKUNOWICZ'S STORY
2018 James Beard Foundation Award winner for Best Chef: Northeast. 2020 James Beard Award finalist for “Best New Restaurant”. Chef/owner of Fox & the Knife Enoteca in South Boston, which was named one of Food & Wine’s 10 Best New Restaurants in 2019, and proprietor of the fast-casual poke concept, SloPoke, in Downtown Boston Whole Foods Market – Karen Akunowicz has a few things under her belt.
Akunowicz began her 16-year career working at local restaurants while pursuing a degree in social work from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She learned every facet of management, working both in front of and back of house. It wasn’t until when Akunowicz was applying for a Master’s Degree in social work that she decided to pivot and attend the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts.
Akunowicz graduated from the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts in 2004 and set off on her professional culinary career as a cook at Ten Tables restaurant in Boston’s Jamaica Plain neighborhood. From there, she accepted a position at the restaurant Via Matta in Boston’s Back Bay where she fell in love with Italian food. In 2008, she decided to fully immerse herself in Italian cuisine moving to Modena, Italy for a year, serving as the Chef at L’Avian Blu.
In 2009, Akunowicz returned home to Massachusetts to work for James Beard Award-winning chef Ana Sortun as the Sous Chef at Oleana Restaurant in Cambridge.
In 2011, Akunowicz took on the opportunity to serve as the Executive Chef at Myers+Chang for seven years. During her tenure there she received both local and national praise, including a four-star review in The Boston Globe, and in 2016 was named Boston Magazine’s “Best Chef in 2016.”
In 2015, Akunowicz quickly became a fan favorite when she competed on Bravo’s Emmy-nominated show, "Top Chef.” In 2016, she was named one of the “21 Badass Women Changing the Food World” by Marie Claire, and the following year she co-authored Myers+Chang at Home (Houghton Mifflin; 2017) with Chef Joanne Chang.
In 2018, she made the bold decision to open her own restaurant, the Fox & the Knife, which came to fruition in the winter of 2019. Inspired by her experience in Modena, Fox & the Knife is a casual and contemporary homage to the food, wine, culture, and spirit of that city. The Fox & the Knife menu highlights her flair for the soul-satisfying, graceful Italian food that she honed while working in Italy. And in just three months of opening, Fox & the Knife was named one of Food & Wine’s 2019 Best New Restaurants!
Akunowicz currently lives in Boston with her partner in business and in life, LJ Johnson. In addition to receiving critical acclaim for her cuisine, Akunowicz is also known for her bold personal style and signature vivid pink hair (symbolic of her support of femme queers).
Boston, MA 02127