As a Hospitality Major, there is much to learn from the various experiences that I have enjoyed while traveling and living abroad. I have learned far more about the tourism industry and what it takes to qualify and excel in that career than I ever could have if I was sitting in a classroom. I have obtained a new appreciation for the hotel industry and the efforts required to stand above the rest. But most importantly, I have seen and tasted a food industry that, in my opinion, out shines the rest of the world. While I had previously focused my major specifically on event planning, living in Italy and traveling around Europe has opened my eyes to a new passion for food and restaurant management/ownership. I have accumulated many ideas that I would love to bring home and one day make into reality. While I don’t plan to share all my ideas with you, I do hope that sharing a few of my experiences with European food will encourage and excite you to one day make the trip yourself to this amazing country to try the unique and exciting flavors that have inspired me and many others.
I recently traveled to Florence with my parents and some close friends to celebrate my parents 28th Wedding Anniversary*. Based on my experience I highly recommend Florence be at the top of your Italian itinerary. The art is inspiring, the streets and piazzas are beautiful, and the shopping just might lessen the weight of your wallet. However, since this is about food please keep in mind that just like in the States, good food comes in all different settings and prices here. In my case, since we were celebrating a very special day, we went for elegant and uniqueness at Borgo San Jacopo. Perched on the Arno with an amazing view of the Ponte Vecchio, this restaurant is known for their tasting menus that allow you to sample some of the finest Italian dishes “enhanced with innovative twists”. The restaurant encourages their guests to “savour the freshness and utter quality of the produce and ingredients hand-selected by the chef, Peter Brunel, himself before being skillfully prepared and presented in inventive dishes.” What an amazing experience this was. The menu offered three specific category choices, each with seven, petite, carefully selected courses encompassing one central theme: My Tuscany, Potatoes & Potatoes, From the Garden, or you had the option to order a la carte. For an example, the Potatoes & Potatoes tasting menu is described and presented below. Each course was perfectly portioned, perfectly plated, and perfectly tasteful. Every dish had a distinct flavor I have never tasted before and I admired the chef’s attention to detail and the presentation within the plating. While some of our big cities back home may have a tasting restaurant here and there, they do not compare to the ones over here. Italian food is so much more than pasta and pizza, trust me or you can come here to see for yourself. I promise you, if you have an adventurous palate, you won’t be disappointed and you won’t be bored. This restaurant has inspired me to bring these ideas home and one day create my own version of a unique restaurant such as this.
*Mom & Dad, thank you for an amazing week. Thank you for sharing your special day with me; your love and dedication to each other inspires every day and I hope one day I will find what you two have. I love you both.