Congratulations to Massimo Bottura and the Osteria Francescana team in Modena who, for the second time in a row, have been awarded a spot in the top 5 of the World`s 50 Best Restaurant List. Since being awarded Chef`s Choice at last year`s awards, Massimo Bottura has opened his second restaurant in Modena, offshoot brasserie Franceschetta58, whilst Osteria Francescana has been awarded its third star by The Michelin Guide.
In September 2012 Osteria Francescana will be re-launching after a month of restructuring work which will see new interiors, more space in the dining room, a new wine cellar and a new kitchen.
June 2012 will see Massimo appearing at both the Tuscan Sun Festival in Florence and MadridFusionMex in Guanajuato, México, followed by the MAD symposium in July in Copenhagan, and visits to Peru`s Misura and Tokyo for the Basque Culinary Center Advisory Board both in the pipeline for September.
For more information on Massimo and Osteria Francescana please scroll down
Chef Massimo Bottura
“Flavours from childhood still haunt me. My reflections on my own territory, family and traditions influence my choices. I love the kitchen because it can take you across new continents or bring you back to your grandmother’s stove top.”
Growing up, Massimo Bottura could always be found under the kitchen table, which became a refuge from his three older brothers. He found peace at his grandmother’s feet as she rolled out the dough for tortellini. Among the smells of broth and roast meats, the young Bottura was silenced by the constant chatting of his grandmother, mother and aunt who prepared meals for the entire family, every lunch and dinner.
A Culinary Foundation
“When my brother told me about a trattoria on the outskirts of Modena for sale in the early winter of 1986, I just knew that was the right thing to do rather than continue studying law. I bought it and opened it a week later.”
In 1986 Massimo Bottura departed on his life’s journey with the renovation of a roadside trattoria on the outskirts of Modena. At Trattoria del Campazzo he worked alongside the rezdora Lidia Cristoni and apprenticed himself to 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. During this time Massimo learnt about the value of quality products from the Mediterranean and reinventing classic recipes by lightening them up. When he finished studying, Ducasse looked at Bottura’s notebook and tore it in two.
He said: “You don’t need this. You have it all inside you. Now make it your own.” That was the best advice he ever received.
Osteria Francescana Launches
A year later in 1995 Bottura opened Osteria Francescana juxtaposing tradition and innovation with contemporary art and design in Modena’s Medieval city centre. In the beginning it seemed difficult just paying the bills, dishwasher and waiter, yet Massimo’s desire to satisfy the gastronomic curiosities of his guests, whose palates had matured alongside his own, motivated him to excel as both a chef and restaurateur.
During the summer of 2000 at El Bulli, Ferran Adrià encouraged Bottura to continue pushing the envelope. With Adria, Massimo`s whole vision of contemporary cuisine was cracked open. Adria`s deconstructions taught Massimo that he could bring conceptual premises into the kitchen. This is the greatest lesson he learned from Adria – to keep possibilities open and to widen one`s concept of `cooking.`
Dreaming pays off
“You’ve got to have a dream or two to get anywhere in life. It is very important to live your life with your feet on the ground but your head in the clouds. Never give up on your dream. They are what keep us alive inside. I definitely would not be here today, nor Osteria Francescana, if I didn’t hold onto my dreams and do everything in my power to make them true.”
In January 2011, Massimo Bottura received the “Grand Prix de l’Art” by the International Culinary Academy in Paris. He was later decorated with a medal of honour for his contribution to Culture and the Arts by the city of Modena. “Chef’s Choice” at the 2011 S. Pellegrino 50 World’s Best Restaurants awards in London, Bottura is highly revered by colleagues and critics alike for his vanguard approach to Italian cuisine.
In November 2011, Massimo achieved a life long ambition when Osteria Francescana was awarded its third star by The Michelin Guide. Osteria Francescana achieved near perfection with the highest vote ever recorded -19.75 out of 20 – in the l’Espresso dining guide. Osteria Francescana is a member of Le Soste and Les Grandes Tables du Monde.
The restaurant holds 5th place in the S.Pellegrino 50 World’s Best Restaurants and has been voted the best restaurant in Italy for 4 consecutive years.
In November 2011, Bottura opened his second restaurant in Modena, Franceschetta58, an informal brasserie and bar serving small plates that showcase Italy’s finest produce in all its diversity.
Bottura is on the board of directors of the Basque Culinary Center directed by Ferran Adria and is working on a project with an Italian culinary institute to develop his ideas about tradition in evolution into Italian culinary education.