About Olive Garden

Olive Garden is the leading restaurant in the Italian dining segment with more than 800 restaurants, more than 96,000 employees and more than $3.6 billion in annual sales. Olive Garden is a division of Darden Restaurants, Inc., (NYSE: DRI), which owns and operates more than 2,100 restaurants that generate over $8.5 billion in annual sales. Headquartered in Orlando, Fla., and employing more than 200,000 people, Darden is recognized for a culture that rewards caring for and responding to people. In 2014, Darden was named to the FORTUNE “100 Best Companies to Work For” list for the fourth year in a row. Olive Garden is committed to making a difference in the lives of others in the local community. As part of this commitment, Olive Garden restaurants have donated nearly 30 million pounds of food to local community food banks across the country.

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Meet the Chefs

With the popularity of some many cooking shows on TV, Olive Garden is following the growing trend by sharing interviews with their chefs on YouTube.  After all, social media is king with almost every major restaurant chain posting to Twitter and Facebook.

I chose not to embed the videos here because it would take too long for them to load.  Feel free to visit their links to learn more about the people that create the dishes at Olive Garden. Its a fascinating look behind the scenes for those of us who enjoy cooking. Since some of the videos mentioned the Culinary Institute of Tuscany I did include it in this post.

Will Cerrud    After seven years and a variety of different positions, Culinary Manager Will Cerrud loves his job more than ever.

Stan Minniefield  Olive Garden is one of the few restaurants around that makes all its sauces from scratch, says General Manager Stan Minniefield. When it's freshly made, you get a lot more flavor.

Sherri Gwynn    Server Trainer Sherri Gwynn talks about the great feeling of family you get when you work at Olive Garden, and how there's a chance to try a variety of different jobs to find the perfect fit.

Sandra Turnbow   For Service Manager Sandra Turnbow, visiting the Culinary Institute of Tuscany was an amazing opportunity to learn about Italian food and wine, and it's a pleasure to pass on that knowledge to her guests.

Patrick Harrison   GM Patrick Harrison tries to pass on a little bit of Italy—along with delicious food and great service—to every Olive Garden guest.

Mehrez Nafzi   Server Mehrez Nefzi is proud to work at Olive Garden because it's a diverse workplace where everyone treats each other like family.

LaSandra Walker   General Manager LaSandra Walker says one of the most fun things about her job is making sure every guest feels that Italian spirit every time they dine at Olive Garden.

Julien Garcia  Culinary Manager Julien Garcia on how his experience at the Culinary Institute of Tuscany inspires what he does every day.

Johnathan Bernard  The best thing about working at Olive Garden, says Olive Garden General Manager Johnathan Bernard, is being able to touch people's lives every day

Jamie Papini   Denver GM Jamie Papini talks about the valuable cooking skills he gained from working with Chef Romana at Olive Garden's Culinary Institute of Tuscany.

Elena Leombruno   Going to Italy was a lifelong dream for General Manager Elena Leombruno, and she uses the knowledge she gained at the Culinary Institute of Tuscany to enhance her guests' dining experience.

Becky Johnson   After 13 years as an Olive Garden server, Becky Johnson made the transition to cooking. This change has given her the chance to learn new skills and make new friends.

Ana Isaza Maag   Ana Isaza Maag has worked in a variety of positions at Olive Garden over the past 18 years, and she talks about the ways she's been inspired and influenced along the way.


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