Massimo Bottura has built his career by blending Italian culinary tradition with an avant-garde sense of design and experimentation. The chef's three-starred Michelin restaurant, Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy, has twice been named the world's best restaurant and routinely attracts culinary pilgrims from across the globe who book one of its 11 tables months in advance. But while Bottura's approach to edible art is rooted firmly in Italy's Slow Food heritage, his hands, body and mind are constantly in motion as he dreams of new ways to condense his many passions "into edible mouthfuls."
One of those passions is reconsidering society's changing relationship with food and the surrounding landscape. Alongside his wife and business partner, Lara Gilmore, Bottura is about to unveil Casa Maria Luigia, an 18th-Century villa-turned-bed-and-breakfast nestled in the hills of Emilia-Romagna that, as Gilmore puts it, "offers a 3D image of how we see Italy, the culinary world, the future of food, ourselves [and] our identity." Like Osteria Francescana, the 12-room property marries traditional, local craftsmanship with contemporary design to offer a reimagined view of what Italian artistry can be.
Bottura is also extending his unique brand of 'revolutionary tradition' into a series of community-minded projects, including Tortellante, a pasta lab where Italian grandmothers teach teenagers with special needs the age-old art of tortellini making; and Food for Soul, a nonprofit that fights food waste through social inclusion.
So, how do each of these initiatives blend together to address the future of food? "One only needs to look at it with the right eyes," Bottura said.
Video by Andrea Neri and Anna Bressanin, second camera Niccolo Villa, edited by Artemide Alfieri, colour correction by Sebastian Diaz
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