Massimo Bottura (born 30 September 1962) is an Italian restaurateur and the chef patron of Osteria Francescana, a three-Michelin-star restaurant based in Modena, Italy which has been listed in the top 5 at The World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards since 2010 and received top ratings from ESPRESSO, Gambero Rosso and the Touring Club guides. Osteria Francescana was ranked 2nd World's Best Restaurant at the S.Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurants Awards 2015.
In June 2016 Osteria Francescana is No. 1 in The World's 50 Best Restaurants 2016.
Early Life and Career
Massimo was born and raised in Modena in the Emilia Romagna region of Italy. He developed an interest in cooking from a young age after watching his mother, grandmother and aunt in the kitchen preparing family meals.
In 1986 he was studying law when he heard that a roadside trattoria was for sale on the outskirts of Modena. He put his studies on hold, bought and renovated the building, and opened Trattoria del Campazzo, his first restaurant, a week later. Bottura then apprenticed himself to chef Georges Coigny to build his culinary foundation, a combination of regional Italian cooking and classical French training.
Bottura also worked with Alain Ducasse at Le Louis XV in Monte Carlo in 1994. Ducasse invited him to stage in his kitchen following a surprise visit to Trattoria del Campazzo.
On March 19, 1995 Bottura opened Osteria Francescana in the medieval city centre of Modena. His concept was to juxtapose culinary tradition and innovation with contemporary art and design.
Bottura then spent a summer at elBulli with Ferran Adrià, which encouraged him to continue pushing boundaries and re-writing rules with his cuisine.
In 2012, shortly after Osteria Francescana was awarded its third Michelin star, the restaurant closed for the summer for a period of refurbishment and opened with an updated insight into Bottura’s two biggest passions - contemporary art and avant garde cuisine.
Bottura and Osteria Francescana were featured in episode one of the first season of Netflix's Chef's Table series in 2015, and the second episode of the second season of Master of None. Bottura had heard that the series had shot at nearby Hosteria Giusti, and directly confronted Eric Wareheim and Aziz Ansari one evening. He offered them a full meal, which was subsequently shot for the episode and featured the actors' real reactions to his food.
Other restaurants and projects
Franceschetta 58, an informal dining brasserie and bar serving small plates was Bottura’s second restaurant project and opened in 2011 in Modena. This was a collaboration with Bibendum director Marta Pulini.
Bottura has written four books, Aceto Balsamico (2005), Parmigiano Reggiano (2006), PRO. Attraverso tradizione e innovazione (2006) and Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef (2014).
He is on the board of directors of the Basque Culinary Centre, a project directed by Ferran Adrià.
After the 2012 Northern Italy earthquakes in the region, which caused damage to millions of pounds' worth of Parmigiano Reggiano, Bottura worked with local producers to raise awareness of the situation. He also took part in the Crave International Food festival in Sydney in October and played the leading role in a festival in Taiwan, La Festa di Chef Massimo Bottura.
2013 saw Bottura take the role of Ambassador for Food in the Year of Italian Culture in the United States. He was also a guest of honour at the Cancún-Riviera Maya Wine and Food Festival in March.
In May 2014, he opened his first restaurant outside of Italy, "Ristorante Italia di Massimo Bottura" in Istanbul, Turkey.
He is the subject of a 2016 documentary film Theater of Life, about a soup kitchen he created using food waste from Expo 2015 in Milan.
- Accademia Italiana della Cucina, Cucina Eccellente for Trattoria del Campazzo (1991)
- Michelin Guide, One Michelin Star (2002)
- Gambero Rosso, Up and Coming Chef Award (2002)
- ESPRESSO Guide Performance of the Year (2004)
- Lo Mejor de La Gastronomía, International Award (2005)
- ESPRESSO Guide, Dinner of the Year (2005)
- Veronelli Guide, Three Stars (2005)
- MICHELIN Guide, Two-Michelin-Stars (2006)
- Golosaria, Creative Restaurant of the Year (2006)
- Identità Golose, Best Creative Chef (2007)
- Gambero Rosso, Three Forks (2007)
- ESPRESSO Guide, Plate of the Year: Rice grey... and black (2007)
- ESPRESSO Guide, Rating 19\20 (2007)
- Consorzio Brunello Montalcino ‘Leccio d’Oro’, Best Restaurant of the Year (2008)
- Consorzio Parmigiano Reggiano ‘Golden Knife’, Man of the Year (2008)
- ESPRESSO Guide, Plate of the Year:Garlic and snail soup (2008)
- Gambero Rosso, Three forks (2008)
- ESPRESSO Guide, Rating 19,5\20 (2009)
- The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, Highest New Entry (2009)
- The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, 13th Best Restaurant in the World (2009)
- Accademia della Cucina Italiana, "Magnifico del Presidente" (2009)
- Gambero Rosso, Plate of the Year: Tribute to Thelonious Monk (2009)
- Les Grandes Tables du Monde (2010)
- ESPRESSO Guide, Highest rating recorded 19,75\20 (2010)
- Identità Golose, Chef of the Year (2010)
- BMW Guide, Restaurant of the Year (2010)
- Andrew Harper Hideaway Report, Restaurant of the Year (2010)
- The World's 50 Best Restaurants, Best Italian Restaurant (2010)
- The World's 50 Best Restaurants, 6th Best Restaurant in the World (2010)
- Grand Prix de l’Art de la Cuisine, International Academy of Gastronomy Chef of the Year (2011)
- Comune di Modena, Gold Medal of Honour (2011)
- UNICEF Modena, Golden Spider Award Art and Culture (2011)
- The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, Best Italian Restaurant (2011)
- The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, 4th Best Restaurant in the World (2011)
- The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, Chef’s Choice Award (2011)
- Lo Mejor de la Gastronomía, El Restaurante del Día 9.25 (2011)
- Michelin Guide, Three Michelin Stars (2011)
- Gambero Rosso Guide, Best Restaurant Rating 95 (2012)
- "ESPRESSO" Guide, Best Restaurant Rating 19,75 (2012)
- Touring 2012 Guide, Best Restaurant Rating 93 (2012)
- The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, 5th Best Restaurant in the World (2012)
- The Daily Meal, International Chef of the Year (2013)
- The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, 3rd Best Restaurant in the World (2013)
- Amanita Prize, International School of Culinary Arts of Valladolid (2013)
- The World's 50 Best Restaurants, 3rd Best Restaurant in the World ( Osteria Francescana)
- The World's 50 Best Restaurants, 2nd Best Restaurant in the World ( Osteria Francescana)
- ESPRESSO Guide, Rating 20/20
- Gambero Rosso Guide, Best Restaurant Rating 95 (2015)
- 2015 Eckart Witzigmann Award for Innovation
- 2016 "The best european chef of the year" by Madridfusión
- The World's 50 Best Restaurants, Best Restaurant in the World ( Osteria Francescana)