Skip to content

A Texan in Toscana: Chef Harvey’s Story


a memoir by Chef Harvey Harris

Part 1: A moment turned into an hour, a day, and a lifetime…

Aside from being visually stunning, Tuscany is rich with wild game, fresh produce, abundant seafood, excellent olive oil, marvelous wine and beautiful people. I had just completed two months of culinary classes in northern Italy and since I would be opening a Tuscan restaurant back in Texas, I chose Tuscany as the region to complete my externship. Fortunately, I was assigned to Il Pino, in San Gimignano, where I would work six days a week, eleven hours a day, doing everything from scrubbing pots to grilling the massive Porterhouse bistecca alla fiorentina. It was the opportunity of a lifetime to immerse myself in a cuisine I had studies and attempted to reproduce over the past eleven years. What I came away with was more than a culinary education.

In all my years of cooking nothing could have prepared me for the transformation I would undergo while working at Il Pino. I would connect with a place inside myself that had gone to sleep or rusted from lack of use. A place that exists inside all of us that had been buried under too many years of chasing the dollars, wolfing down cheeseburgers, running to board meetings, and buying bigger houses. It was a moment that turned into an hour that turned into a day that became the first of many. And I remember it vividly…

Stay tuned for part 2 of “A Texan in Toscana” by Chef Harvey Harris…

Above: One of my jobs when I worked at the Ristorante Il Pino in San Gimignano was cooking the massive Porterhouse, known as the “bistecca alla fiorentina,” a dish that has become one of our signature entrées (and one of our best values) here at Siena Ristorante Toscano. Those are fresh porcini mushrooms on the side!

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Kimberly #

    I am excited to come to your restaurant
    My family lives in Siena, and I have been craving some traditional Tuscan cuisine!

    June 13, 2012

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. A Texan in Toscana (part 2): Cooking from the heart… | Siena Ristorante Toscana
  2. A Texan in Toscana (part 3): I moved to Tuscany and it hit me | Siena Ristorante Toscana

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: