Massimo Bottura is one of the great names in an innovative generation of Italian chefs. Bringing to his dishes the passion he has for contemporary art and avant-garde cuisine, it is in the Osteria Francescana ? consecutively considered the best restaurant in Italy and one of the best in the world ? that the award-winning chef expresses his creativity in dishes that stem from conceptual premises. Now boasting three Michelin stars, Massimo Bottura sees himself as «a chef who likes to think», who has the complete conviction that «impossible is nothing».
«I revisit traditional recipes and ideas and make them contemporary»
He would hide from his older siblings under the kitchen table, from where he would spy on the women of the house around the stove. «That's where my passion for food began, at my grandmother's feet, under cascades of flour and grated Parmigiano Reggiano,» recalls Massimo Bottura.
After abandoning law school and deciding to improve his culinary vein in the first restaurant that he opened, the Trattoria del Campazzo, and with the master Alain Ducasse, Bottura opened the Osteria Francescana in 1995, in the historic centre of Modena, with big ambitions and Michelin stars in his sights. Today he has three of them and it is in this restaurant, which in the meantime has risen to become one of the best on the planet, that he strives to hand back to the future the roots and traditions of Italian cuisine ? coated with a good dose of contemporary flare. Indeed, this is the chef's speciality, who gives the style he employs at the Osteria Francescana the title of «Tradition in Evolution».
The third Michelin star was awarded to him in 2012, ensuring Bottura's dream had come true, but making him aware of a new starting point. «There was still so much to do, to dream, to create and to share,» reveals the chef, which led him to renovate and reopen Osteria with a new look in the same year, a few months after opening the doors of his second restaurant, the Franceschetta 58.
After almost 30 years spent in the kitchen, Massimo Bottura now recognises the importance of «communicating art, culture, ethics», which sees him committed, among others, to a project for Expo 2015, concerning the paradox between waste from restaurants and people who go hungry. His eyes also sparkle when talking about the space he is opening in April in Istanbul, the Ristorante Italia, which, although it is a new model, has its success virtually guaranteed given the avant-garde style and irreverence with which Bottura sees Italian cuisine and the perseverance with which he follows his dreams.