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A Texan in Toscana: Tales from Chef Harvey’s years studying and cooking in Italy…

chef harvey harris siena austin

As we gear up for our Avignonesi Dinner (November 6) featuring Tuscan wines and Tuscan cuisine by Chef Harvey (above), we were reminded of his posts on his time studying and cooking in Tuscany.

Chef Harvey is one of the best Italian chefs working in Texas today and he loves cooking classic regional dishes from all over Italy. But Tuscany is where he left his heart. The following is one of his posts on his time there.

Click here for Chef Harvey’s classic Tuscan menu and registration details for the November 6 event.

And this just in: Siena wine director Rina has secured an allocation of rare 2001 Vin Santo especially for this event. Click here to learn more. This is a NOT-TO-MISS food and wine pairing event!

Please call (512) 349-7667 to reserve.


One of the reasons why we started this blog here at Siena Ristorante Toscana 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 Toscana: a Texan in Toscana and a little bit of Toscana in Texas!

—Chef Harvey

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