Massimo Bottura is a leading figure amongst a new generation of Italian chefs. His work both as an innovator and restaurateur confirm him as one of the world’s most creative culinary forces. In 1986, Massimo Bottura departed on his life’s journey with the renovation of a roadside trattoria on the outskirts of Modena, working alongside the rezdora Lidia Cristoni and chef Georges Coigny to build his culinary foundation, a combination of regional Italian cooking and classical French training. In 1994 Bottura gained valuable experience working with Alain Ducasse at Louis XV in Montecarlo, who had invited him to stage in his kitchen following a surprise visit to the trattoria. A year later, in 1995, Bottura opened Osteria Francescana juxtaposing tradition and innovation with contemporary art and design in Modena’s Medieval city centre. During a summer at El Bulli in 2000, Massimo Bottura’s whole vision of contemporary cuisine was cracked open when Ferran Adrià’s deconstructions taught him that he could bring conceptual premises into the kitchen. Bottura’s trailblazing approach has garnered him many awards. He received the “Grand Prix de l’Art” from the International Culinary Academy in Paris and was later decorated with a medal of honour for his contribution to Culture and the Arts by the city of Modena. Later in 2011, he achieved a life long ambition when Osteria Francescana was awarded its third star by The Michelin Guide. The restaurant is a member of Le Soste and Les Grandes Tables du Monde, and Massimo Bottura is also on the board of directors of the Basque Culinary Center directed by Ferran Adrià.
Last year, the chef opened his first restaurant outside of Italy in Istanbul, Ristorante Italia di Massimo Bottura. This two year restaurant project took inspiration from Osteria Francescana but was an entirely unique proposition, which saw traditional Italian flavours and contemporary cooking techniques come together to bring the very best of the past into the future. It was a busy year for the chef; 2014 also saw the release of Massimo Bottura’s first English language book with Phaidon Press, Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef. Italian and Dutch translations exist and have since been followed by translations into French and Spanish.
The NETFLIX project CHEF’S TABLE, a feature length documentary by Jiro Dreams of Sushi director David Gelb was launched at the end of April 2015.
Over the past 6 months, Massimo Bottura has taken a lead role in EXPO Milano. Running from May to October, through his project at a disused and refurbished theatre, Chef Bottura invited chefs from around the world to participate in Food for Soul at Refettorio Ambrosiano. On a single day in June 2015, Osteria Francescana rose to second position in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards and announced a 3-day pop-up restaurant in Sotheby’s London that sold out in 24 hours. In October 2015, one of Italy’s most prestigious and widely read publications revealed its L’Espresso Restaurant Guide 2016. For the first time on record, L’Espresso awarded a 20/20 rating, which it gave to Osteria Francescana.
Osteria Francescana is closed all day on Sunday and all day on Monday. Reservations are essential.
Osteria Francescana, Via Stella, 22, 41121 Modena, Italy
+39 059 223912 www.osteriafrancescana.it
portrait by: Paolo Terzi