Home Scandal and Gossip Turns out that Olive Garden’s Culinary Institute is a sham.

Turns out that Olive Garden’s Culinary Institute is a sham.


So much for claims about a refined culinary school somewhere in Tuscany.

The food chain that has actually turned out to be not to be too good to be true…

gawker: An anonymous Reddit user who says she was a former Olive Garden manager wrote that the chain owns no cooking schools in Italy. Rather, they fill a Tuscan hotel with employees in the off-season:

“[We] could use the restaurant (closed to the public-again off season) as a classroom for maybe an hour here or there and talk about spices or fresh produce for a minute before going sightseeing all day. The only time we saw the ‘chef’ was when she made a bolognese sauce while taking pictures with each of us to send to our local newspapers.”

And to think all these years I was sold on Olive Garden’s spicy meatballs being a treasured legit Italian secret passed down from the chef  to my giddy tonsils…

But what happens when you have Time magazine check into these allegations? Well you better order a spicy glass of your favorite red wine. Well maybe the whole bottle…

A spokesperson for the hotel confirmed that there’s an agreement in place between them and Olive Garden. Olive Garden sends about a dozen people each week in the off-season between November and March. Their chef spends some time with them in the kitchen, but there’s no school and the restaurant does not own anything there. The house and the restaurant belong, in fact, to a local wine label.

Never mind, I’m sure whatever they end up serving at Olive Garden will pass most unseasoned tastebuds. Just don’t expect to walk in off the street and expect to become some cooking maestro- cause it ain’t gonna happen.

Anyone for some microwave ravioli?

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