Welcome to CiboChat!

CiboChat is the Food and Culture blog of FUA Florence University of the Arts. This blog project reflects our aim to share the cultural and especially gastronomic experiences of our students, faculty, staff, and Florentine locals. Check out our Florentine Food Guide for how to dine like a local!

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TuttoToscana - James Beard Foundation

TuttoToscana Gala Dinner

By Eva Björg Eyjólfsdóttir

Last Saturday, the TuttoToscana Gala Dinner was held. Members of the James Beard Foundation attended with other partners of Florence University of the Arts. At the event, we were lucky to welcome presidents and faculty members from schools that collaborate with FUA. The menu of the night represented an exploration of Italian cuisine from the 1960s, a contradictory decade of industrial boom and socio-political revolution. The era is a mashup of diverging thoughts in Italian society in which juxtapositions occurred between economic optimism in the big cities, traditionalism dominating in the South and in the countryside, flower power philosophy, political unrest, and the industrialization of Italian lifestyles including food production. The culinary and baking and pastry students took some of the most famous dishes from this era and gave them a new and modern look. With each course, the guests were offered wine pairings. The wines that were served came from differing Italian wineries. From Bruni Winery, the Vermentino and the Morellino di Scansano, from Lastra winery, Chianti Colli Senesi DOCG, From Campizzana winery, Barco Reale and Carmignano DOCG, and to end the dinner, guests were served Vin Santo from Fattoria del Teso winery. Following the completion of dinner, our guests were introduced to the front and back of the house staff members. We would like to give a special thank you to The James Beard Foundation for giving Apicius the opportunity to bring their students to New York and to attend the TuttoToscana program.

Follow our journey from Florence to NYC on Facebook.

Dinner at the James Beard Foundation

By Eva Björg Eyjólfsdóttir, Jessica Vercota, Mary Ann Camarda, and Delany Goff

On Friday, October 26th, all the students involved in the TuttoToscana program had the pleasure to attend one of the James Beard Foundation special events. The theme was Midwest Italian Meets California, and the menu explored a fusion between Italian, Indiana, and Californian cuisine. The host explained their focus on local products and considering the lack of wine produced in Indiana, they opted for Californian wines instead. Our team had already hosted FUA’s Alumni event at JBF on Sunday October 21st, which gave us the opportunity to become more confident with the venue and to practice both the back and front of the house service for our capstone event on Saturday, October 27th. Dining at JBF as guests provided us with the unique opportunity to gain a different perspective on a JBF dinner, experiencing a new type of cuisine, and observing the service style. We liked the finger food best. The servers were knowledgeable about the food, and the quality was good. The timing went well, not too fast or slow, it gave the servers time to clear the tables and reset the table settings. The theme was consistent since they only served wines from California. There were also small parts of Italy, Indiana and California blended into every dish. The host did a great job going around tables and explaining the menu, as well as answering any kind of questions or curiosities that might come from the guests.

Overall, we did benefit from this experience, sitting at the table instead of being part of the front of the house team allowed us to notice some details and to reflect about the service style and approach that we intended to adopt for our capstone event at JBF. We all agreed that, although we are benefiting from the JBF front of the house staff experience in the field, we still wish to maintain our own identity, paying attention to manage the front of the house as we were taught during our hospitality classes at Apicius, focusing not only on professionally executing the wine service, but also taking the time to explain the theme of the night and the menu to guests, and being ready to answer any kind of questions.

Follow our journey from Florence to NYC on Facebook.

TuttoToscana Alumni Dinner 2018

By Delaney Goff, Jessica Vercota and Eva Björg Eyjólfsdóttir
Photo by David Andre Weiss

The TuttoToscana 2018 Alumni dinner served as a great way to bring together, once again, our FUA family. Our goal for this event was to transform the formal setting of the James Beard House into a friendly family gathering, bringing back wonderful memories of our guests’ study abroad experiences. With a focus on past and present FUA students, this evening also served as a fundraiser honoring a former FUA student, Cody Durbin. Cody studied abroad at FUA in the Summer and Fall of 2013, participating in the TuttoToscana program. The Cody Durbin Scholarship will be given in his name to a deserving student, allowing them to experience all that TuttoToscana has to offer.

To get our FUA family involved during our event, we held a raffle and awarded prizes to various individuals highly involved in the FUA community. Following a short photo opportunity, the guests were seated at their tables, which were all themed after famous locations throughout Florence. The menu of the evening was focused on revisiting the seasonal Tuscan cuisine from the 1960’s with a fresh and modern approach. To bring our guests closer together, the menu was designed to create a family style atmosphere, keeping the evening light and enjoyable.

Our guests were given the option to choose from a variety of Tuscan wines featuring two differing wineries. From Bruni winery, we highlighted the Vermentino and the Morellino di Scansano. We also served Vinsanto from Fattoria del Teso winery in the Montecarlo region of Italy. Following the completion of dinner, our guests were introduced to the front and back of the house staff members, giving them an opportunity for questions and to bringing together past and present FUA students.

This alumni event helped to spark a light on the FUA community, where the mission is not only to learn in a classroom environment, but to bridge different cultures together, gaining lifelong connections and experiences!

“My Dolce Vita”

By Delaney Goff, Jessica Vercota, Eva Björg Eyjólfsdóttir and Mary Ann Camarda

The Tutto Toscana team had the pleasure of hosting an Art Event, located on the Upper East Side of NYC. This event was honoring one of our very own FUA family and team members, Andrea Mancini. Andrea is a distinguished illustrator, painter, and educator from Florence, Italy. Gifted with an amazing talent, Andrea has been given the opportunity to travel the world, working with some of the most influential individuals in the art industry, including Milton Glaser who created the “I <3 NY” illustration that is very popular around the city. Andrea’s works can be viewed in the Marino Marini museum in Florence. Mancini’s exhibition for the night was his own personal interpretation of the famous Italian movie “La Dolce Vita”. His watercolor paintings were inspired by the romantic scenes portrayed in the black and white film. To continue with the “La Dolce Vita” theme, the culinary and pastry team created a menu that reflected Italian cuisine in the 1960’s. This menu featured popular finger foods, including Vol Au Vent, deviled eggs filled with tuna salad, mini girella and Tartelette with champagne cream. With this menu, we paired five unique wines from different areas in Tuscany. We featured wines from Montecarlo, Maremma, Chianti, and Carmingano. This event hosted all ranges of people interested in art, wine, and food. Guests at our event included both alumni from FUA, along with notable individuals from the Upper East side community. We would like to give a special thank you to our wonderful host of the evening, Katie Rosenberg. It is with her limitless generosity that FUA was able to bring this event to the Upper East side and showcase our mission of learning by doing!

Follow our journey from Florence to NYC on Facebook.

2018 TuttoToscana Brigade

Get to know our 2018 TuttoToscana brigade. They are a from different backgrounds, and have come together to share this beautiful TuttoToscana experience.

Find out about our Front of the House, Culinary and Baking and Pastry Team that have worked hard to present these events in New York.

Culinary Team

Ashten Garrett

From: Cleveland, Ohio
What do you bring to the team: Energy, passion and communication
Favorite Tutto Toscana dish: Big apple sandwich

Filippo Corsi

From: Pisa, Italy
What do you bring to the team : Production experience
Favorite Tutto Toscana dish: Gnocchi

Marco Pati

From: Lecce, Italy
What do you bring to the team : Patience and love for the job
Favorite Tutto Toscana dish: Baccala and gnocchi

Grace Fowler

From: Missouri
What do you bring to the team : Smile, passion and good personality
Favorite Tutto Toscana dish: Baccala with grapes

Seonwoo Hwang

From: South Korea
What do you bring to the team : Humor and personality
Favorite Tutto Toscana dish: Chicken galantine

Ethan Zuk

From: Chicago, Illinois
What do you bring to the team: Culinary experience
Favorite Tutto Toscana dish: Chicken galantine

Ottaviano Giannico

From: Puglia, Italy

What do you bring to the team: Good team work

Favorite Tutto Toscana dish: Orechiette

Nicolas Guerra

From: Conneticut
What do you bring to the team: Good at team work
Favorite Tutto Toscana dish: Gnocchi

Marín Kemp Stefánsdóttir

From: Reykjavík, Iceland
What do you bring to the team: In charge of the culinary bible and gets everyone to smile
Favorite Tutto Toscana dish: Mini American tartlet

Elana Green

From: Chicago, Illinois
What do you bring to the team: Positivity and helpfulness
Favorite Tutto Toscana dish: Chickpea soup with seafood ragout

Yu Hsin Huang

From: Taiwan
What do you bring to the team: Lighthearted spirit
Favorite Tutto Toscana dish: Green peppercorn beef tenderloin

Baking and Pastry Team

Samantha Thomas

From: Long Island, New York
What do you bring to the team: Past Tuttotoscana experience
Favorite Tutto Toscana dish: Pastry with the Alchermes in the fedora cake

Leanna Cowan

From: Seattle, Washington
What do you bring to the team: Experience
Favorite Tutto Toscana dish: Small components like the truffles and mousses

Sydney Pelland

From: Canada
What do you bring to the team: In charge of the pastry bible
Favorite Tutto Toscana dish: Mediant with white chocolate and nuts

Gaia Paladini

From: Pesaro, Italy
What do you bring to the team: Happiness
Favorite Tutto Toscana dish: Macarons

Katherine O´Loughlin

From: Rhode Island, USA
What do you bring to the team: Fun, energy and good attitude
Favorite Tutto Toscana dish: The Champagne tartlet

Jocelyne Leon-Flores

From: Chicago, Illinois
What are you bringing to the team:  Bread maker
Favorite Tutto Toscana dish: Milk bread with almonds

Alyssa Krauss

From: Long Island, New York
What do you bring to the team: Great smile and helpfulness
Favorite Tutto Toscana dish: Festival cake

Emma Fitzpatrick

From: New York
What do you bring to the team: Organization and help with the pastry bible
Favorite Tutto Toscana dish: Tiramisu

Charles Ewald

From: Long Island, New York
What do you bring to the team: TuttoToscana veteran
Favorite Tutto Toscana dish: Likes making the breads

Leah Seewack

From: California, USA
What do you bring to the team: Experience as a pastry chef
Favorite Tutto Toscana dish: Champagne cream tartlet

Abby Balota

From: Saint louis, Missouri
What do you bring to the team: Good problem solver
Favorite Tutto Toscana dish: Festival Cake

Fahriye Elif Aksahin

From: Istanbul, Turkey
What do you bring to the team: Contagious laugh
Favorite Tutto Toscana dish: Festival cake

Front of the House team

Mary Ann Camarda

From: New York
What do you bring to the team: Wine and beverage knowledge
Favorite wine from the menu: Barco Reale di Carmignano

Eva Björg Eyjólfsdóttir

From: Reykjavík, Iceland
What do you bring to the team: Knowledge, experience, determination and strength
Favorite wine from the menu: “Plinio” Maremma Vermentino

Delaney Goff

From: Florida, USA
What do you bring to the team: Happiness and personality
Favorite wine from the menu: Chianti Colli senesi

Jessica Vercota

From: California, USA
What do you bring to the team: Organization, experience and smiles
Favorite wine from the menu: Morellino di Scansano

Follow our journey from Florence to NYC on Facebook.


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