The charisma, energy, charm, boundless creativity and determination to challenge are reasons enough for Massimo Bottura to be the world’s most in-demand chef. His restaurant, Osteria Francescana, has three Michelin stars and ranks number one on this year’s list of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. It’s located in Northern Italy in his hometown city called Modena, where the great tenor Luciano Pavarotti was born.
Massimo is known also from the Netflix original series, Chef’s Table. He pulls traditional Italian dishes apart, mines his memories and presents the familiar in unfamiliar ways. Audiences see hallmarks of Italian cuisine – tortellini, lasagne, risotto – but in completely new forms. On the plate they look like canvases of abstract expressionist painters.
Massimo Bottura is famous in the culinary world for telling the story of his childhood and life in Italy through his cooking, expressing themes of art, history, family, music and more. He is described as “poet, storyteller and artist as much as a cook”. His culinary creations are rooted in the traditions of Northern Italy and his hometown, an ancient city of narrow streets and grand piazzas where they’ve been making parmesan cheese and balsamic vinegar the same way for centuries. It’s where Bottura’s love of food began when he was just a little boy, hiding under the kitchen table. Massimo said, “I remember my grandmother was rolling pasta. In the meantime, what I was doing I was stealing the tortellini from under the table and eating it raw.