|Chef Roberto Rossi at Michelin|
starred restaurant Silene in Seggiano
If you ask my Tuscan native about memories of his best meal at restaurant Silene - the latest arrival among southern Tuscany's Michelin starred restaurants - he won't recite the dishes of an epicurean tasting menu but deliver the account of an epic football game right after his best friend's wedding lunch.
Challenged by a group of local teenagers during a post wedding cake cigarette break, my Tuscan native and friends were drunk and stuffed with Roberto Rossi's gourmet food, but must have managed to look smart nevertheless when entering the village's football pitch in their designer suits. Legend has it that team Armani managed to battle off the assault of the sober 17-year-olds, but seemed on the verge of a break down when one of the wedding guests summoned for a penalty had to excuse himself behind the goal post to throw up a mix of vintage Brunello, wedding cake and homemade tagliatelle with locally sourced funghi porcini. He managed to keep the remaining courses to himself and - according to his friends - kicked a penalty that 15 years later is still being talked about by the inhabitants of the small Tuscan hamlet. But remain from bringing the issue up next time you order Silene's tasting menu - the locals may have a differing view.
But to focus on stars not scores, Tuscany's gourmet classification is still led by Florence' Enoteca Pinchiorri created by chef Annie Féolde - the sole Tuscan restaurant with three Michelin stars. Valeria Piccini is coming close though from the south of the region with her Da Caino in Montemerano tightly holding on to two Michelin stars, whilst Winter Garden by Caino - her new culinary outpost at the St. Regis hotel in Florence - already gained its first.
For more info about southern Tuscany's Michelin starred restaurants click here. And in case you still wonder about the final scores of the best dressed football team of the nineties - they obviously won (3-1). A victory that made more than up for having to throw out their grass stained Armani suits.