Chef Tommaso Iorio Created Tuscany at Home to Share the Best of Italy

Tuscan son.

Call Tommaso Iorio a caterer and you’ll get a quick retort. “I am a private chef,” he says, explaining, “Unlike caterers, we prepare all the food in clients’ homes. And we don’t just cook. From the grill to the olive branches, we bring a little Tuscany into their kitchens.”

When it comes to what a Tuscan kitchen feels like, Tommaso is an expert. He was born in Panzano, a small town in the Chianti region of Tuscany, and he grew up dining in his grandmother’s kitchen. With his keen appreciation for food and Italian heritage, embarking on a career in hospitality seemed like a natural choice. He proceeded to work at a series of eateries in Tuscany throughout his 20s. 

The second chapter of his career was more serendipitous. Tommaso was working as a restaurant manager when Deana, who is from LA, came in to dine. They fell in love, married, and moved from Italy to Burbank in 2019. He was working as the manager of Terra, Eataly’s rooftop restaurant at Westfield Century City, when a patron asked him to cook for a dinner at his Beverly Hills home. The chef made the food, while Deana “made the evening beautiful.” The couple threw a few pictures up on Instagram, and before they knew it, they were running a bona fide company that they named Tuscany at Home. 

When describing his style of cooking, Tommaso recalls one of first jobs in hospitality: working at Officina della Bistecca in Panzano. The restaurant, along with the downstairs butcher shop, is owned by well-known, eighth-generation artisanal Italian butcher Dario Cecchini. Tommaso says that experience shaped him as a chef, particularly his views on meat.  

“First and foremost, I learned to respect animals, trying to provide them the best quality of life, one that is long and healthy, because they are sacrificing their lives to become a source of food for us. And I believe in using every part of the animal possible. As for food preparation, I believe in Dario’s motto of keeping it simple and yet delicious. That has carried over to what I do for our clients.”

That simple philosophy can be seen in numerous dishes—for example, his take on the classic Italian Florentine steak.

“The cuts are big and thick enough so they can stand up alone on a grill. I put oak wood in my grill, which adds flavor. I finish the steaks with a special salt and drizzled extra virgin olive oil—both of which I source from Tuscany.”

Even his approach to pasta is pared down. “I always try to make it like what I’d get in my nonna’s kitchen back home. If you have good olive oil, cherry tomatoes, shallots and quality Parmigiano, you can make a great pasta dish.” 

While he is happy to make fresh pasta for clients in their homes, he says that like most Italians, he much prefers using dried pasta sourced from Italy. He claims it is not as filling as American-manufactured pastas. “I use bronze-extracted, slow-dried organic pasta. They let it dry at room temperature, which makes it easier to digest. Plus, fresh pasta can’t be served al dente. Dried pasta can—and that is the way it should be served.”  

Simplicity is also key to creating a vibe. “It is all about using authentic and delicious products from Italy to prepare dishes and keeping them true to Italian style and taste,” Deana says. “Also, while I’m preparing dishes in the kitchen, Tommaso chats with our guests. Through his accent alone, they are transported to Tuscany!” she laughs.

As in any good partnership, there is a clean line of delineation. “I’m the chef. She’s the chief,” Tommaso chuckles.