"In the summer of 1997, I couldn't have been more exhausted from life when I arrived with my family in Florence, Italy"
Before we left California, a close friend had recommended a country restaurant outside of the city only known to locals, and well worth the visit. It was pouring rain when we ventured out of the city in our rented minivan. After getting lost on the country roads, then bumping and bouncing our way up the long, winding paths, we found ourselves at the front door of the restaurant. We couldn't help but wonder how a restaurant could survive in such a remote spot. Yet once out of the car, to our surprise, the views on the other side of the hill were glorious.
Unfortunately, the restaurant had ended lunch service, and the doors were locked. At that point, we were disappointed, freezing and wet. To our surprise, the chef quietly opened the kitchen, relit the fireplace, and generously worried about our comfort. Then, in spite of just finishing a full service, he proceeded to cook an incredible meal. There were so many courses that we were left in awe. Touched by the simple, clean flavors and the rustic, authentic cuisine, we leaned back in our chairs and based in the surprisingly rich experience. The chef sat down with us and we all talked for hours about Italy and food. What resulted was a lifelong friendship and many lessons in Tuscan cuisine.
We knew that we had found something special that others would love to be a part of, a secret that the Florentines already knew. They would drive for an hour on Sundays to eat at this unspoiled spot. This was a find and a food haven. We would laugh that year about how we should "make a book" about the experiences we had in that restaurant. We wanted to share the feeling of his cuisine with other food lovers who dream about food as I do.