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A Texan in Toscana: Tales from Chef Harvey’s life in Tuscany

chef harvey harris siena austin

Some years ago now, we published a series of blog posts by Chef Harvey Harris (above) on his life, study, and work in Italy before returning to Austin, more than 15 years ago, to open Siena.

We’ll be posting more on the Palio horse race that will take place in Siena (the city) on July 2 as well. But in the spirit of our love and passion for Tuscany, we wanted to share Harvey’s story with you here as well. Enjoy!

One of the reasons why we started this blog here at Siena Ristorante Toscano was so we could share our passion for Tuscan cooking and our experiences traveling, cooking, working, and living in this amazing region. Here, farm life and great food are interwoven in a truly unique way.

When I was studying Italian cuisine in Italy (in the north), I had the chance to meet many great people and learn about the traditions of their regions.

Then, when I went to work in Toscana, at the famous restaurant Il Pino in San Gimignano, I dived in head first and lived, ate, and drank the cuisine of this amazing place.

The photo to the left is of a lady picking olives in an olive grove not far from where I lived and worked. I think it’s such a great photo: except for the fact that I took the photo with a modern camera, you could have seen that same image, exactly as you see it here, 150 or even 200 years ago. That’s part of what is so special about this place.

And this is what I try to share with you every day at Siena Ristorante Toscano: a Texan in Toscana and a little bit of Toscana in Texas!

In upcoming weeks, I’ll be sharing photographs and stories about my life in Toscana. I hope that you’ll enjoy them as much as I did.

We hope to see you soon!

Buon weekend (have a great weekend)!

—Chef Harvey

5 Comments Post a comment
  1. WHY am I the only one “liking” this blog? This is a great site and many (more) people should know about it.

    Anyway … here’s a link for you Chef Harvey entitled “11 Beautiful Italian Words & Phrases that Just Don’t Translate”:

    ENJOY! 🙂

    June 9, 2016
    • Thanks for the comment and the kind words! Siena is so much more than just a great Italian restaurant. It’s wonderful to be able to share its story and its people here on the blog. Buon weekend!

      June 10, 2016
      • Looking forward to my next visit — maybe next time a FOURSOME! 🙂

        June 14, 2016
    • Apologies for not posting this sooner! It got stuck in spam because of the links. Thanks so much for sharing and for being here! It means the world to us. Hope to see you soon!

      June 21, 2016
      • Husband’s birthday is coming up in August … so I’m thinking that’s our next visit! 🙂

        June 22, 2016

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