Fred Plotkin discovered the concept of "The Renaissance Man" as a small child and has devoted himself to pursuing that ideal as the central role of his life. He is an expert on everything Italian, the person other so-called Italy experts turn to for definitive information. In a “Public Lives” profile in The New York Times on August 30, 2002, Plotkin was described as "one of those New York word-of-mouth legends, known by the cognoscenti for his renaissance mastery of two seemingly separate disciplines: music and the food of Italy." In the same publication, on May 11, 2006, it was written that "Fred is a New Yorker, but has the soul of an Italian."
Fred's knowledge and expertise extend to much of Europe, its many cultures and history and, especially, opera, film, literature, classical music, food and wine. He has worked in opera since 1972, doing everything but singing. This includes management, production, design, coaching, consulting and broadcasting. He directed opera at La Scala and later was the performance manager of the Metropolitan Opera for five years. He teaches a series at NYU called Adventures in Italian Opera which has a big following. He also leads opera/food trips in Italy, Austria, France and New York.
He is known to radio, television audiences and YouTube viewers for broadcasts about the topics he loves. He participated in NBC’s coverage of the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino. Fred also is a regular commentator on NPR and the BBC, and a best-selling author.