The city of Milan recently hosted the 8th annual Identita Golose, a culinary festival and congress which gathers many of the world’s best chefs and producers. The event hosted over 50 speakers from all over the world, with sixteen chefs cooking in two seperate kitchens, preparing dishes for the food lovers of the city.
Massimo Bottura shared his menu for the day with us, including the reason behind each of his chosen dishes which are a compilation of his favourite hits over the years.
“from osteria to Osteria”
Riccordi di un panino alla mortadella 2001
Memory of a mortadella sandwich
“This plate recalls a strong memory of the mortadella sandwich my mother threw into my backpack for school snack. Nothing tastes better than memories. I’ve tried to capture the essence of that sandwich with warm mortadella foam on crunchy bread. Since 2004 we no longer add heavy cream to the mortadella foam but distill mortadella water instead to capture pure flavor with no added fats. When I eat this ‘one bite’ sandwich, I feel fourteen again.” M.B.
1993 – 1999 – 2002
Cinque stagionature di Parmigiano Reggiano in diverse texture e temperature
Five ages of Parmiagiano Reggiano in different textures and temperatures
“I began making this dish even before Osteria Francescana was opened. The challenge was to make a dish using one element – in this case Parmigiano Reggiano. We put the emphasis on the aging process natural to Parmigiano and worked on creating different textures and temperatures to distinguish the cheese. In 1998 was a three component plate expressing the various characteristics of Parmigiano Reggiano. I wanted to show people just what an amazing cheese this is. Over time I was able to add other textures and ages of the cheese. In 1999 we added the chilled Parmigiano foam with a 30 month aged cheese. In 2002 I added the Air of Parmigiano with the oldest 50 month aged Parmigiano to create a sensation of ‘invisible but intense flavor’” M.B.
Compressione di pasta e fagioli
Compression of pasta and beans
“A classic Italian peasant dish transforms into a parfait of pasta and beans, a literal compression of my personal gastronomic hisotry in 2001. At the time I called the plate: “where does pasta fagioli think its going?”
At the base of the glass is a crème royale which pays reference to my French culinary traiining from Coigny to Ducasse. At the top, air of rosemary to acknowledge Adrià. In the middle, between the two, where the egg pasta should be, there are crust of Parmigiano Reggiano – boiled and sliced like maltagliatti. Between Ducase and Adria – there is my grandmother who put the crust in broths and soups. This is the emotional part of the pasta and fagioli; the part that connects me not only to my terrain but to my family.
Hats off to all my masters, one and all.” M.B.
Bollito misto … non bollito
Bolito misto … not boiled
“Just like Lucio Fontana’s decision to cut through the surface of a painting, a simple reflection can change everything.
Working with heroic farmers and butchers has taught me to ask :
“Does tradition respect the ingredients?”
Afterall, ethics and aesthetics go hand in hand.
For this reason we use sous-vide technique to realize ‘bollito misto … non bolito’.
Do we have to follow centuries of tradition and boil extraordinary meat in water?
Can we find a way to express our traditions and perhaps improve upon them at the same time?
That is what “Tradition in Evolution” means to me. M.B.
Filetto di capitone lacata con la saba con crema di polenta, succo di mela verde e polvere di cipolla brucciata
Saba lacquered Adriatic eel with cream of polenta, sour apple jelly and burned onion powder
“This plate tells the story of the Este family who reigned in Ferrara from 1200 to 1600. The sudden death of Alfonso II allowed the Papal state to claim not only the Castello Estense but the territorial fishing rights along the Delta of the Po and the Adriatic. The Este Family was granted dukedom in Modena and took up residence at Ducal Palace.
The story is told through an eel who takes a journey from the lagoons of Comacchio to Modena. Along the way the eel picks up ingredients from the neighborhing towns – polenta, campanine sour apples, onions and saba. As the eel enters the canals of Modena it lathers itself in saba and bronzes in the sun, burning, of course, the onlons….” M.B.
Croccantino di foie gras con cuore di Tradizionale Aceto Balsamico di Modena
Cruncy foie gras bar with liquid center of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena
“Here I just wanted to have fun with the most snob ingredient in international cuisine – foie gras. My approach was purely childish. I wanted to serve my guests an incrediible foie gras terrine without a fork and knife but on a stick like an ice-cream bar so that they could return to being children and enjoy all the flavor without the pomp and circumstance.
To complete the illusion, we filled the center will Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena and coated the outside with carmelized hazelnuts from Piemonte and almonds from Noto, Sicily. In this way, the terrine is Italianized from the North to the South and even at the heart – Modena.” M.B.
Massimo served up the meal to around 150 people. Pictures to follow….