Chef Massimo Bottura

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THE BEGINNINGS OF CHEF MASSIMO BOTTURA’S FAMED OSTERIA FRANCESCANA

Osteria Francescana Exterior

In 1986 Massimo Bottura revived an old trattoria on the outskirts of Modena and departed on his life’s journey. At Trattoria del Campazzo Bottura worked alongside the rezdora Lidia Cristoni and apprenticed himself to master chef Georges Coigny to build his culinary foundation, a combination of regional italian cooking and classical french training. In 1994 Bottura gained a valuable experience with Alain Ducasse at Louis XV in Montecarlo. In 1995 Bottura opened Osteria Francescana juxtaposing tradition and innovation with contemporary art and design in the Medieval town center. During the summer of 2000 at El Bulli, Ferran Adrià encouraged Bottura to continue pushing the envelope.

Over the past ten years Bottura has become a leading figure among a new generation of Italian chefs demonstrating maturity both as an innovator and restaurateur. At Osteria Francescana tradition is seen from ten miles away. Classic plates such as “Five textures and temperatures of Parmigiano Reggiano”, “Compression of pasta and beans” or “Bollito misto” are the keys to understanding a cuisine which embraces centuries of Italian tradition in singular gestures.

Dal Tosone al Parmigiano and Zuppa inglese caldo e freddo

Two Michelin stars shine on Osteria Francescana today. The restaurant holds 4th place in the S.Pellegrino 50 World’s Best Restaurants and has been voted the best restaurant in Italy for 3 consecutive years. 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. Massimo Bottura serves on the board of the Basque Culinary Center, the internatinal gastronomic university founded by Ferran Adrià.

Osteria Francescana Interior

About Chef Massimo Bottura

Massimo Bottura

Chef Massimo Bottura is one of the new ambassadors of made in Italy. Eleven tables in the heart of Modena tell a story of tradition in evolution. Bottura cooks to invite a contemplation of history, territory and flavor at Osteria Francescana. Chef Massimo Bottura received the Grand Prix de l’Art by the International Culinary Academy in Paris in January, 2011. He was later decorated with a medal of honor for his contribution to Culture and the Arts by the town of Modena. The Chef’s Choice at the 2011 S. Pellegrino 50 World’s Best Restaurants in London, Bottura is highly revered by colleagues and critics alike for his vangard approach to Italian cuisine which is a collision of ideas, cultures, techniques and gestures.

Osteria Francescana is dedidated to finding, supporting and promoting artisan producers and local products from proscuitto to balsamic vinegar to parmigiano reggiano. Iconic dishes such as ‘a memory of a Bologna sandwich’, ‘five ages of Parmigianno Reggiano in diverse textures and temperatures’, ‘saba lacquered Black Romanola ribs’ and ‘warm and cold Zuppa Ingelse’ summarize Bottura’s respect for Italian traditions juxtaposed against a healthy dose of adolescent irreverance. Perhaps it is the irony that distinguishes his kitchen.

Each plate is the fruit of an idea, a wry smile, a play on words rendered into sublime gestures with techniques such as sous-vide, distillation and dehydration.

Chef Massimo Bottura’s Descriptions Of The Osteria Francescana Experience

Test your tongue. Eat to remember.Eat to share. Satisfy your heart and soul; your stomach will follow ...
Nourishment is not mathematical ... it is emotional.

Being on the cutting edge means you have to know everything and forget everything. But mostly KNOW EVERYTHING.

My kitchen is an intimate one. It tip toes.

Crescentina Osteria Francescana

Memories are often the key to understanding our desires and interests. To develop a recipe with egg and proscuitto – a classic combination – I began thinking about the fights my brothers and I had as kids over Sunday’s bollito misto.  Each one of us tried to get to the Gallina before hte other to see if there was l’uovo embrionale. That was the surprise. A bright yellow concentration of egg, cooked in the broth along with the chicken carcass. Delicious!

This is my Land. This is my modena. We dream about reducing a crust of Parmigiano into air… suave. Something that disappears when touched. This is transformation, the magic of technology. Playing with the imagination and playing with the profound. But most importantly, playing.

Apply Kandinsky’s pyramid in The Spiritual in Art to the kitchen… The idea guides everything. Below that there is the search for exceptional ingredients and a 360 degree understanding of technique. That is technique and technology at the service of raw ingredients. Then a step below comes the chef’s cultural baggage, personal history and traditions. Values that should never be underestimated in the kitchen.

All great ingredients that pass through our kitchen are studied, smelled, touched, appreciated and respected before they are put to work. Only then can they be approached with humility. Only then can a technique be applied to sublime them and their future form.

Osteria Francescana Interior

I’ve heard that a great, perhaps the greatest chef of this century, Paul Bocuse, once said in the early eighties, that the reign of the French cuisine would last until the moment in which Italian chefs came to realize the enormous patrimony they have at their fingertips. From the raw ingredients, to the inumerable profiles of their traditions.

I don’t take myself too seriously but I do love to eat fine food. I am a gourmet, but I like to think…

From Crus of Lambrusco to Romane Conti, our cantina is like a tub; rich with must in continual fermentation. We have inherited a great responsibility both moral and cultural from those visionaries like Mario Soldati or Gino Veronelli who proceeded us. They push us to dig in deeper, in the constant search for a glass ever more authentic in its expression of territory.

Technique is a weapon. It is the element that transforms raw ingredients. It is what sublimes them to realize an idea. This is the foundation of our kitchen. Parmigiano, prosciutto, tortellini, broth, tradition, future, flavor ... flavor in evolution.

Un capitone and Riflessione sull'insalata mista

 

The challenge is rise above any missing technique or talent by using the finest ingredients you can find. Align your palate by experimenting nd discovering, making mistakes and messes. Leave room for the unexpected. Let the underdog rival your preconceptions. Make food that not only feeds the body but the brain, awakens the senses, and triggers the emotions.

Tortellini? I would bring them with me on a desert island. What is it that distinguishes one tortellini from another? There are two elements. One is Parmigiano Reggiano and the other is Prosciutto. These intense flavours are the synthese of our traditions.

And the pasta? The pasta is an integral part of the tortellini. We prepare our egg pasta with a percentage of embryonic eggs. They lend intensity and vigor to the dough. This is tradition ... the evolution of tradition, which is a delicate undertaking.

Sous-vide permits a chef to cancel, camoflage, cut and paste but more importantly, concentrate as never before: aromas, flavors, colors and concepts. All those plastic bags do not make for a romantic kitchen. Cooking elements separately with distinct temperatures and times becomes a mental exercise of great intention. A plate like “Bollito misto… not not bollito” would never be possible without the technique of sous-vide.

 

Osteria Francescana

 

www.osteriafrancescana.it

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