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Cooking school in Italy

Spots are filling up quickly for our “Siena Goes to the Beach” Tuscan riviera dinner, August 25, featuring the seafood of Tuscany. For more info and to view the menu,
please click here.

Above: The “playground” at the culinary school I attended in Italy, the Italian Culinary Institute for Foreigners. You can see the town of Costigliole d’Asti in the background.

Before I headed to San Gimignano for my externship at Ristorante il Pino more than ten years ago, I completed a course of study at the prestigious Italian Culinary Institute for Foreigners, the “I C I F” as it is known, in Costigliole d’Asti, Piedmont, in the heart of wine country. The school was created in 1991 by the regional government of Piedmont and the government of Italy to offer first-rate instruction for foreigners.

The school’s mission statement:

To convey to the whole world the prestige and traditions that make the cuisine of the Italian regions the heritage that everyone envies us, giving a highly qualified image of the Italian food service industry, exporting its richness to all Countries: this is ICIF’s philosophy.

ICIF, Institute of Cuisine, Culture and Oenology of the Regions of Italy, is an association established to safeguard and improve the image of Italian cuisine and products among professionals operating in the food service industry abroad. The objective of ICIF is to train professionals who can assimilate the Italian taste and food culture and “export” them back to their Countries of origin, being aware of the value and quality of Italian typical products, in order to spread and promote the real Italian taste. The courses are mainly held in Italy to favor the direct knowledge of the local reality, its traditions, history and enogastronomic literature.

While studying at the ICIF, I had the opportunity to meet a lot of great chefs — Italian and foreign — and I interacted with some of the most talented experts of Italian cuisine in the world. Even though I already knew my passion was for Tuscan cuisine, I also had the chance to learn about traditional dishes and recipes from all over Italy.

I hope you’ll come visit us soon at Siena Ristorante Toscano so that I can share my joy for Italian cuisine with you!

Buon appetito!

—Chef Harvey

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