Osteria Francescana takes No1 at World’s 50 Best Restaurants

Massimo Bottura entrance doorway OF © Paolo Terzi

Massimo Bottura standing in the doorway to Osteria Francescana. Portrait by Paolo Terzi.

“Cooking is not only about the quality of the ingredients but also the quality of the ideas” Massimo Bottura

Massimo Bottura opened Osteria Francescana in Bottura’s hometown of Modena in 1995. From early on, the restaurant engaged in a profound exploration of territory and tradition, the expression of which can be found in the absolute concentration of flavours guided by Bottura’s definition: “Tradition seen from 10 kilometres away”. Today Osteria Francescana continues to redefine Italy’s rich gastronomic heritage, ingredients and culinary traditions with the benefit of critical distance, contemporary cooking techniques, and a great desire to see the Italian kitchen evolve.

Osteria Francescana faced years of criticism even after receiving the first and second Michelin stars in 2002 and 2006. When Osteria Francescana entered the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list at 13th place in 2009, it was met with an Italian television scandal accusing them of threatening the Italian kitchen. These challenges reinforced the restaurant’s contemporary approach to the Italian kitchen. Today Osteria Francesana is considered the best restaurant in Italy and one of the most influential in the world. Osteria Francescana was awarded a third Michelin star in 2011 and is currently ranked no 1 on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list.

“The artworks on the walls are the landscape of our ideas.”

Massimo Bottura

Osteria Francescana © Paolo Terzi 3.jpg

Photo by Paolo Terzi

Osteria Francescana is situated in a century-old osteria that has been transformed over the past 21 years into a laboratory of culture, art and design. Storytelling enriches the dinning experience and the kitchen never shies from making references to art, music and history to provoke emotion, memory and taste. Guests at the restaurant’s 12 tables are able to choose from the à la Carte menu or from two distinct tasting menus.

Art has had a fundamental role in the evolution of the kitchen, not only from an aesthetic point of view but also a conceptual one. Over the years, the restaurant has collected contemporary art with paintings, photographs and sculptures from acclaimed Italian and international artists all of which have helped to define the restaurant’s iconoclastic style and poetic interpretations. The most recent addition to the collection is a Duane Hanson sculpture of a security guard named “Frankie” who silently greets guests at the restaurant’s entrance.

“If you live an incredible moment of happiness, that happiness is much deeper and bigger if you share it with others.”
Massimo Bottura

Osteria Francescana is more than a restaurant. It is an extended family of professionals, many of who are central to the restaurant’s identity. Beppe Palmieri has lead the front of house at Osteria Francescana as both maître d’ and sommelier over the past 16 years. His open and intimate approach to pairing has followed the evolution of the kitchen. This is expressed in the wide range of wine producers, artisinal beers and juices he weaves into the pairings as well as his signature cocktails. The kitchen staff features the complimentary talents of Davide di Fabio from Abruzzo and Takahiko Kondo from Tokyo who both arrived at Osteria Francescana in 2004. Davide possesses the unique ability to manage the irrational while Takahiko applies obsessive rigor to his strive for precision. Their loyalty has contributed to the distinguished solidity of our team.

“Cooking is a call to act.” Massimo Bottura

Boundlessly energetic and enthusiastic, chef and agitator Massimo Bottura has established his voice both in and outside the kitchen. He is a speaker, author and charismatic leader.

2014 saw the release of Bottura’s first English language book Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef with Phaidon Press. The book shares twenty years of recipes, stories and ideas and has been translated into Dutch, French, Spanish and Italian. In 2015, new audiences were introduced to the world of Massimo Bottura through the work of director David Gelb in the Netflix documentary on Osteria Francescana from the series Chef’s Table.

Most recently, Massimo Bottura has been examining the role of the contemporary chef, calling for social responsibility among the culinary community and addressing the issue of food waste. During Expo 2015, the chef created an off-site Expo project in collaboration with the Vatican to address the problem of food waste and hunger in our cities. During Expo over sixty chefs from around the world joined him at Refettorio Ambrosino to cook for the homeless and develop innovative recipes for reducing waste in the kitchen. A documentary entitled Theatre of Life was filmed there and follows the efforts of Massimo Bottura as he and other chefs strive to bring dignity back to the table through working with salvaged food. It will be released in late 2016.

On April 3rd this year, at the MAD SYD symposium in Australia, Bottura introduced to the public Food for Soul, a no profit organization spurred on by the success of the Refettorio Ambrosiano in Milan. Founded by Bottura, Food for Soul envisions a world where communities fight food waste in the interest of social inclusion and individual well-being. Food for Soul is currently working on the opening of a second soup kitchen, Refettorio Rio, during the Olympic games in in collaboration with the Brazilian organization Gastromotiva. A book of recipes called Bread is Gold based on the Refettorio experience is to be released in 2017.


Press Contact:
Sarah Canet, Spoon PR. Telephone: +44 207 610 9821 Email: sarah@spoon-pr.com

“In my future, I see more future.”

Massimo Bottura

Osteria Francescana is closed on Sunday & Monday. Reservations are essential. Osteria Francescana, Via Stella 22 Modena 41121 Italy http://www.osteriafrancescana.it/reservations/

Osteria Francescana will be closed for its annual vacation between August 7th-Aug 22th 2016 and January 1st-January 17th 2017

Food for Soul
Via Rua Muro 85, 41121, Modena, Italy http://www.foodforsoul.it

This entry was posted in 50 Best, Massimo Bottura, Osteria Francescana, Spoon Blog 2016 and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Osteria Francescana takes No1 at World’s 50 Best Restaurants

  1. I’m so pleased for Massimo and the restaurant. Eating there 2 years ago was possibly my best gastronomic experience ever. I long to go back!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s