Chain Restaurants

DARDEN Restaurants -- Interesting "Inside" Look


Chain Restaurants 11

DARDEN Restaurants -- Interesting "Inside" Look

alkapal | Jul 24, 2011 07:27 PM

I found this article about Darden Restaurants interesting.

I recall a thread once about their Olive Garden chefs "studying in Italy." Here is the deal: ""Then executives formed a partnership with actual Italians: Olive Garden's Culinary Institute of Tuscany (CIT). It was a "stroke of genius," says Dennis Lombardi, a veteran food consultant. Eleven times a year, the company sends 14 top employees, many of whom have never set foot in Italy, to spend a week in an 11th-century village in Tuscany and learn from Sergio and Daniela Zingarelli, a husband and wife who operate a restaurant, winery, and inn. The couple and other local experts expose the Americans to everything from how olive oil gets pressed to how to layer flavors in a Bolognese sauce. The Olive Garden employees buy fresh vegetables at a market in Florence and prepare a multicourse Italian meal. "It's like getting into Harvard," says Pickens. "It's not, of course, but you know what I mean." Since 1999, some 850 employees have attended CIT; 80% of them are still with the company."""

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