Massimo Bottura’s culinary avant-garde

Luciana Bianchi - 23/05/2011

Massimo Bottura defines himself as “a man from Emilia Romagna with as strong muscles as Parmigiano Reggiano, with Aceto Balsamico running through his veins, and a ‘bubbly’ mind made from Lambrusco”.

He finds his inspiration in art and music, dares to deconstruct classic dishes, and even makes a potato-truffle soufflé into a dessert.

'The potato who wants to be a truffle'

His menus are a homage to the products he can see growing in his surroundings.This is the place where Parmigiano Reggiano, Aceto Balsamico, Prosciutto di Parma, Lambrusco and many other world famous Italian products come from. The deep love for his region - beautiful Emilia Romagna - keeps the chef truthful to his only address in the world – Modena, where Osteria Francescana has become one of the most desirable tables among gourmets.

Bottura’s work is unique, and unites the flavours of his rich territory with his philosophical and artistic ideas.
He is the most accomplished avant-garde chef of his generation, and has recently received the 2011 Gran Prix de l’Art de la Cuisine by the International Academy of Gastronomy in Paris.

There is no food without poetry, deep thinking, and music for Massimo Bottura. Nourishment is according to him not mathematical, but emotional.

His universe at Osteria Francescana is surrounded by the emotions of Edit Piaf;

Some of his dishes and menus are inspired by musicians and conceptual artists such as Thelonious Monk and Lucio Fontana.
The Italian artist Carlo Benvenuto aknowledges Bottura as a colleague, developing food and art projects together.

During his presentations at Congresses, he cooks his dishes and quotes Joseph Beuys, as if food and art are both part of the same recipe.

The most recent video presentation of Bottura is an ode to his territory - tales told by his own mother, and a journey through the sources of his produce.

Is it possible to capture the essence of life with all its beauty and imperfections, and translate it into unforgettable dishes? As the chef would say: “If a potato can dream of becoming a truffle, anything is possible!”

Last month, Bottura was awarded the gold medal by the Comune of Modena, an honour so far given only to heroic personalities or citizens of the city who have changed history.

Osteria Francescana occupies now the 4th position at S. Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants.

Osteria Francescana

Via Stella, 22 / Modena – Italy

Tel.(+39) 059.210118

Luciana Bianchiis chef de cuisine and food writer, works as International Editor correspondent for the Brazilian gourmet magazine,Prazeres da Mesa, and contributes to several publications in Brazil and Europe.
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Photos: Luciana Bianchi & Press Images