TuttoToscana 2019: Memories of a Tuscan Garden

By Chloe Streeter
Photo from Unsplash

TuttoToscana, literally translating to “everything Tuscan” is a study away program offered by FUA, it allows students the opportunity to travel to New York City and the privilege to partake in the team of the only academic institution invited to present at the James Beard Foundation.
This will be the 15th year of TuttoToscana. The program puts on 3 main events and satellite events in NYC. The most important, being the Capstone Dinner, will be held on October 26 at the James Beard Foundation.

The event will present to NY diners an intimate dive into the personal family recipes and memories of FUA-AUF President and Founder Gabriella Ganugi. The theme for this year is “Memories of a Tuscan Garden.”
A perfectly fitting theme, sticking true to Tuscan traditions and cuisine. Tuscan cooking is founded on using the most fresh and simple ingredients of the season including many legumes, cheeses, vegetables and fruits. Typical dishes are created by what Tuscans find fresh and local, making them often very simple to prepare and using few ingredients.
When I think of this year’s theme, I automatically imagine myself walking through a fragrant garden and collecting the freshest and ripest produce to make a delicious and healthy meal to share with my friends and family. Italian cuisine is meant to bring people together, celebrate where our food comes from, the love and passion that it is created with and the simple joys that enjoying a meal brings. Not only does this year’s theme celebrate Tuscan traditions but also embodies the mission at the James Beard Foundation by celebrating, honoring and nurturing food culture, diversity and sustainability.

This year’s menu will celebrate the recipes, and bring to life the memories of Tuscan cooking. The theme is inspired by President Gabriella Ganugi’s memoir ​The Girl Who Counted Ants​. The book features the personal and family recipes that were used to create the menu that will be served to JBF diners this year. President Ganugi’s memoir also recounts in detail how Apicius International School of Hospitality was established.

The menu, featuring dishes like Chicken Liver Pâté with Figs, Moscato, Brioche Crumble, and Sage, or Spinach Gnocchi with Nutmeg Butter and DOP Fontina Cheese, celebrate the journey and growth the institution has encountered over the years.