Chef Fiore Tedesco of L’Oca d’Oro
You don’t often find an Exec chef and co-owner of an Italian restaurant who started college on a tennis scholarship at Hofstra. Nor does he list a three-year stint at Franklin BBQ on his resume. But Fiore Tedesco had always wanted to have an Italian restaurant, and after a chance meeting at a party with fellow foodie Adam Orman the two of them are responsible for the realization of a dream and their culinary gift to the Mueller neighborhood, L’Oca d’Oro.
Just past it’s first anniversary, L’Oca is a classic neighborhood restaurant run by a couple of guys who place a premium on caring: for the customers, the employees and of course, the cuisine. That caring ramped up another notch when they announced that L’Oca d’Oro would be a sanctuary restaurant.
I asked Fiore what he first looks for in an employee. His response was immediate and emphatic: “I look for people with heart. Yeah, and honesty. You can teach anyone to cook. But you can’t teach the first part.”
Both Fiore and Adam are from the Northeast and like so many of us, your faithful scribe included, made their way to Austin. And Austin reached out and embraced them. And made them want to give back. Case in point: they pay their waiters $8 per hour and add a 20% surcharge to each tab. That money is distributed across all the employees with some going to the waiters as well. It seems to be working and some customers are adding an additional tip solely for the servers.
So maybe caring and cuisine can go hand in hand at L’Oca d’Oro. The next time I have their extraordinary Mushroom Risotto I will think more about this.
1900 Simond Ave.
Austin, TX 78723