Massimo Bottura has been credited with reinvigorating and reinventing national cuisine. At Osteria Francescana in Modena, his efforts have been recognized with several awards. But Bottura’s influence reaches beyond the boundaries of Italian food, and his motivations transcend mere awards and accolades. There is a social and environmental aspect to his work that might have lasting significance in the wider world.
The avant-garde master of Italian gastronomy.
It was in 1986 that Bottura bought his first restaurant, Trattoria del Campazzo, on the outskirts of his hometown of Modena. It was here that the young chef, inspired by his mother and grandmother’s cooking, acquired his classical French training courtesy of chef Georges Coigny, and applied it to the traditional cuisine of the Emilia Romagna region. He spent eight years learning his craft and developing his style before he took the bold decision to sell Campazzo to work with the legendary Alain Ducasse at Louis XV in Montecarlo. This mentorship had a profound effect on the Italian, and in 1995 he returned to Modena to open Osteria Francescana.
“I am an Italian chef born in Modena. I grew up under the kitchen table at my grandmother Ancella’s knees. That is where appetite begins for me.”Massimo Bottura
Exploring the rich heritage of Italian regional cuisine, while embracing modern cooking techniques, Bottura’s imagination began to run wild. His ruminations on philosophy, history, and art could sit comfortably alongside a practical understanding of locally grown ingredients and simple recipes. Bottura managed to walk between innovation and heritage, between the future and the past, and stay on his feet. And he does so to this day.
Food for Soul: Cooking is a call to act!
“I have followed my passions for over thirty years to find my voice. The time has come to use it to make visible the invisible. Around the world, we waste one-third of the food we produce. In 2016, I founded the non-profit association Food for Soul to empower communities to fight against food waste in the interest of social inclusion and individual wellbeing.”Massimo Bottura