It should come as a shock to very few that Italian restaurant chain Olive Garden does not employ chefs trained in the hills of Tuscany, but that is exactly why the American franchise is facing criticism.
A new marketing ploy advertised that the restaurant sent cooks to Italy to learn how to prepare authentic dishes. Now, a former employee is cooking up trouble by claiming that Olive Garden’s Tuscan cooking school in Chianti is merely a ploy to sell more breadsticks.
Olive Garden claims on their website that: "More than 1,100 Olive Garden chefs and managers have traveled to Italy and learned the essential skills for creating traditional Italian cuisine and popular Italian great dishes."
The ex-employee, who attended the Olive Garden’s Tuscan cooking school in 2007, explained that there wasn’t much learning involved. The annual trip turns out to be more of an off-season Italian holiday than a training experience.
Instead of true Tuscan cooking, Olive Garden will remain a company that is best known for serving sangria to a toddler.