For years now, the Italian restaurant chain The Olive Garden has touted in commercials their cooking school in Tuscany where they send their chefs to “learn the secrets of Italian cooking." They show an expansive villa teeming with chefs donned in their best whites learning from presumed masters how to make the dishes served from Bangor to Burbank.
Admittedly, I am a cynic by nature. But it was my marketing and public relations background that had me immediately dismissing this as a misleading reach. Sure, they may have had a space in a building somewhere in the region where they conducted some training – just enough to make that claim legally – but a charming Tuscan culinary institute? No way. I was not buying that.
Are you sitting down? It's real!
Even though this hamlet-nestled resort only hosts Olive Garden head chefs during winter months, it still is quite surprising. At least for this blogger it is.
But I also downed a Double Down sandwich last week, so what do I know about good food?
(Special thanks to our friends at Consumerist.com and Jaunted.com.)
~ Darius Schwarz, AGO Public Affairs Intern