Chef, Osteria Francescana & Founder, Food for Soul
Massimo Bottura opened Osteria Francescana in Modena in 1995. An innovator and restaurateur for over twenty years, Bottura has consolidated his reputation as one of the world’s most creative culinary figures. His internationally renowned three Michelin star restaurant, Osteria Francescana, was named number one on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list in 2016.
In 1986 Massimo Bottura departed on his life’s journey when he bought Trattoria del Campazzo on the outskirts of Modena. Working alongside the rezdora Lidia Cristoni and an apprenticeship with French chef Georges Coigny, he built his culinary foundation on a combination of regional Italian cooking and classical French training. In 1994 Bottura sold Campazzo and departed for Montecarlo to work with Alain Ducasse at Louis XV. This experience proved invaluable for the chef and lead to opening Osteria Francescana a year later in his hometown of Modena. Several years later, Bottura had another life-changing experience with Ferran Adria at El Bulli during the summer of 2000.
Bottura’s kitchen walks a thin line between tradition and innovation. In 2002 Bottura received his first Michelin star followed by the second in 2006. Among numerous awards, he received the prestigious “Grand Prix de l’Art” from the International Culinary Academy in Paris in 2011 and a confirmation of a lifelong ambition with the third Michelin star. Osteria Francescana has been ranked at the top of the Italian food guides for the past five years. Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef is the title of Massimo Bottura’s first English language book published by Phaidon Press in 2014. It documents the past twenty years of cooking as well as the evolution of Osteria Francecana through images, storytelling and the iconic recipes.
Most recently, Massimo Bottura has been examining the role of the contemporary chef, calling for social responsibility among the culinary community and addressing the issue of food waste. During Expo 2015, the chef created an off-site Expo project called the Refettorio Ambrosiano to address the problem of food waste and hunger. During Expo over sixty chefs from around the world joined him to cook for the homeless. As a consequence of the success of the project, Massimo founded the non-profit association Food for Soul. In August 2016, Massimo Bottura together with David Hertz’s non-profit culinary school Gastromotiva, opened the Refettorio Gastromotiva in Rio de Janiero.