Three Michelin-starred Massimo Bottura has come out on top in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list – the creme de la creme, produced by a British magazine.
Bottura – who runs Osteria Francescana in Modena – is a pioneer of a new wave of Italian chefs who’ve turned traditional dishes into contemporary art on a plate.
He explained: “What we do everyday in Osteria, we compress into edible bites, my passion, our passions, filtered by contemporary mind, and with a big heritage on our back.”
One of his signature dishes, “Five Ages of Parmigiano Reggiano” – is a new and chronological take on the iconic cheese.
It’s a dish that transforms it into five different textures and temperatures.
It’s one of Bottura’s most celebrated creations and he’s described what it means to him.
“When we create Five Different Ages of Parmigiano-Reggiano, in five different textures and temperatures, I had in mind to explain to the world with artist eyes the slow passing of time in Emilia Romagna, in the aging process; 24, 30, 36, 40, 50.you feel, goes like this. Slow.”
Bottura loves pasta, that goes without saying.
But his version of the famous lasagna is very different to that created by his mother and grandmother.
He calls this dish the “Crunchy Part of the Lasagna” – a playful adaption of the old classic.
“When I create the Crunchy Part of the Lasagna, that’s the emotion,” explained Bottura.
“I want everyone who comes from all over the world to experience the joy of a child eating and stealing from the big pan of the lasagna that the grandmother brings to the table for the whole family, stealing the crunchy part.”
Some food critics have described Bottura as the “poet chef,” and probably the “best storyteller” in today’s gastronomic world.
Critic Eleonora Cozzella raved about Bottura’s work.
“In reality, this victory of Osteria Francescana and Massimo Bottura, shows that Italian cuisine can be international for all intents and purposes, and also contemporary and very cultured, because it unites centuries of history and high cuisine with popular tradition expressed as avant-guard.”
Bottura turns Italian cuisine on its head
Bottura’s Osteria Francescana currently has a three-month waiting list.
So if this upside down lemon tart tantalises your taste buds, then you’ll have to be patient.