Turlockers have been waiting anxiously for the opening of Olive Garden since the November 2011 announcement that an Olive Garden restaurant would be opening in Turlock. The wait is nearly over.
The newly constructed Olive Garden Italian Restaurant, located next to Kohl’s on Countryside Drive in Monte Vista Crossings, is set to open their doors to the public on Monday, September 10th, at 11am. The Olive Garden in Turlock is the newest Olive Garden in the family of more than 750 local restaurants.
A staff has been hired and many new employees from Turlock are ready to open the doors under restaurant manager Sunil Nand.
“I’m honored to have the opportunity to lead the Turlock restaurant and a great team at Olive Garden,” said Sunil Nand, newly named general manager. “In addition to our Italian specialties, including signature items like our homemade soups, garden fresh salad and warm, garlic breadsticks, the menu at the Turlock Olive Garden will feature limited time offers like our Never Ending Pasta Bowl, which allows guests to order any pasta and sauce combination and receive unlimited refills.”
Nand brings extensive restaurant industry experience to his new position. He has been with Olive Garden for more than 10 years, most recently as general manager of the Olive Garden located at 2671 W. March Lane in Stockton.
Nand is one of more than 1,400 managers who have visited Olive Garden’s Culinary Institute of Tuscany in the Tuscan village of Riserva di Fizzano, which serves as the source of inspiration for some dishes on Olive Garden’s menu. Each year, more than 100 managers visit CIT and learn about Italy, its food, wine, culture and people.
This includes learning the time-honored traditions of Italian cooking and working side-by-side with Italian master chefs. The CIT is designed to inspire attendees to share the Italian culture of hospitality and passion with their restaurant teams and guests back home.
In 2012, Nand received a Diamond Club Award, the company’s top honor, which recognizes general managers who receive outstanding results in delighting guests with a genuine Italian dining experience and achieve top financial performance.
To recognize Nand’s role as head of the Olive Garden family in Turlock and to emphasize the importance the company places on its general managers, Olive Garden honored Nand by setting his name in stone. Travertine marble imported from Tuscany was chiseled with Nand’s name and placed prominently by the restaurant’s front door.
The 7,441 square-foot restaurant can host up to 246 guests and is said to feature a design that is inspired by traditional farmhouses found in Tuscany, Italy. Design teams that work with Olive Garden have traveled to Italy to work with Italian architects Fabio and Lucia Zingarelli to recreate the design of Tuscan farmhouses.
This includes a rustic stone exterior, and an interior that contains imports from Italy. Exposed wood beams, with stone and wood accents throughout, and terra cotta tile to highlight the interior, support the ceilings.
In addition, the bar top is crafted from lava stone and hand-painted by artisans in Italy with a design created exclusively for Olive Garden. Vibrant imported fabrics decorate windows and dining seats, while hand-painted plates, adorn rustic stone and stucco walls.
The restaurant also will feature a number of sustainable design elements, including recycled building materials, enlarged windows to increase natural light, low-water landscaping and energy-efficient equipment. These enhancements are part of the Sustainable Restaurant Design initiative launched by Darden Restaurants, Olive Garden’s parent company.
Olive Garden has hired many locals and is still accepting applications for employment. To be considered for an interview, apply online at www.