Hey guys! I’m really stoked about the latest feature I wrote for Eater.com (and if you don’t know what Eater is- it’s basically a handy site/online mag for food & drink culture news)
This was a piece that marinated in my brain for some months. I got to talk to many awesome chefs and food purveyors, and best of all- my understanding of cuisine went a little bit further down the rabbit hole.
To be honest, up until recently I wasn’t exactly a fan of fine or “innovative/modern” dining, especially in Italy and was extremely dismissive of it. Deeming these experiences void of soul and in a pretentious environment, where access was somewhat discriminatory to those of a more privileged demographic. Perhaps that was my liberal Seattle-side talking!
I’ve come around. I think, fine dining experiences are apart of having a well-rounded appreciation for the world of cuisine. Fine dining, should, express the depths of the creative soul of passionate chefs. Surely there are fine dining establishments which do exist purely for its status and not in the name of cuisine. But it is the job of us who write about food to steer people in the authentic direction.
This is why I think it is important that cities like Florence, should be examined for its fine/modern/innovative dining scene. Modern and fine dining establishments should represent the creative caliber of the city’s food scene. It represents what we can do and why it is an exciting place to eat in. I understand that people come to Florence expecting traditional Tuscan…but what about those serious foodies who have already experienced that or who live here, wanting that journey which engages the senses, that memorable dining experience? For those of us who want to see what potential food and flavors have?
As the story opens with, Florence has loads of reason to have an impressive fine dining scene- legends say Florence is the birthplace of gelato for crying out loud! But honestly Florence is behind especially in the confronts of cities like Milan or Rome, which in my opinion do not have the product/ingredient richness and diversity that I believe Tuscany has. There is light shown on the few diamonds in the rough who are working to turn this overplayed tide in Florence…
I hope people understand this, and that the premise of this article is not saying there are not good eateries in Florence or those token “off the beaten path gems.” This article is a bit of an analysis questioning: where is the cutting edge innovation taking Florence’s cuisine to the next level, while still respecting tradition and upholding that…while exhibiting a unique identity of its own and really taking advantage of all the culinary gold in its region’s arsenal of ingredients? Not to mention, the treasure chest of talented chefs and their wildest dreams? And why are we just now seeing something interesting in the Florentine culinary arena?
Read more here!
Why Does Florence’s Fine-Dining Scene Lag Behind the Rest of Europe?
A special thanks to Damiano Vigna of my current favorite restaurant in Florence (Club Culinario) who is doing genuine regional food right, Siiri Sampson, a Seattle chef who spent months staging around Spain who helped give me some insight to the dining/culinary scene in Spain, Georgette of Girl in Florence who reminded me of the awesome Filippo Saporito of La Leggenda dei Frati (one of the finer dining establishments doing things right in Florence) my awesome barman pal Julian Biondi (of Cafe Florian- by the way a wicked good resto and craft cocktail nook), Faramarz Poosty and Entiana Osmenzeza for taking the time to not only feed Florence delicious things but for speaking with me on such a delicate topic.
In your culinary trust,
Hey! Want more on food in Florence? You can start by following this blog and if you are planning to visit, you can come eat and drink with me on a food tour in Florence and see where I think only the best is served. Or get social with me on facebook, twitter and instagram! (all curiousappetite)