Luca Marchetti, the genial host of the Toscana Italian restaurant on Beach Road in central Pattaya, is very proud of the fact that he makes good use of the produce of his organic vegetable and natural animal farms for the meals that he serves to diners, and is happy to supply outside orders for non-diners.
When you consider just how many restaurants there are in the Pattaya area, Toscana is arguably about the only one which can trace the vast majority of its food products from the ‘soil to the table’ and the ‘cradle to the grave’ as it were.
The commitment to providing genuine quality to diners is evidenced by the continuing popularity of both Toscana and its associated Moom Talay Thai restaurant. The key to running any successful business across the longer term is to have repeat custom, and that’s what Toscana certainly achieves.
One aspect of the operation that many customers may not be aware of is the preparedness to sell a vast range of the produce of the two farms to customers who might want to get the Toscana food experience but not necessarily come in night after night to dine at the restaurant itself.
A classic example would be the free-range eggs, whether the standard chicken eggs, or the more exotic quail or guinea fowl eggs.
While the chicken eggs which Luca sells are 10 baht each, so 120 baht for the dozen, the quality is unmatched. As Luca points out, “The chickens people buy cheaply in the market have been fast-tracked to growth, maybe they’re a kilo in weight after only a month. My chickens are allowed to grow naturally and it takes my stock around six months to get to that size.”
Obviously, a chicken grown as fast as possible in order to be sent to market in as short a time as possible is not going to cost as much as one which is allowed to mature naturally. So, the actual turnover of chicken numbers on Luca’s organic farm is far less than a standard commercial operation.
Being allowed to grow naturally, the hens are also allowed to lay eggs as naturally as possible. As Luca notes, it is easy to check the quality of an organically-farmed egg compared to its more production-line sibling. “Each organic egg will be slightly different in size and texture. When it’s broken open for eating the colours will vary slightly, all because of what the hen was eating before it laid the egg.”
Luca said, “My chickens lay a lot less eggs than a typical factory-farmed chicken. So, yes I charge 10 baht an egg, compared to maybe 3.5 baht for a factory chicken, but the difference is in the quality and, of course, the more natural vitamins and minerals which are in the eggs from my farm.”
While hens will lay eggs all year round, “provided it’s not too hot or too cold,” according to Luca, guinea fowl only lay their eggs between March and September, as do pheasants and turkeys.
Apart from chickens and their eggs, non-diners can order rabbit, quail, pigs and almost any product from the other creatures that Luca has on his farm. All of which gives you the opportunity to ‘bring home the bacon’ as it were and dine Toscana-style in the comfort of your own home.
And customers of the Toscana Italian restaurant who are already aware of the vast selection of cheeses, homemade breads and desserts – all of which are made fresh every day at Toscana from natural ingredients – will want to add their own favourites to that ‘shopping basket’,
Simply drop in to Toscana or contact Luca by way of the website and ask about the products you’re interested in trying. You’ll be glad you did.