In our series "At the Chef's Table," we take a look at the careers of some of the greatest chefs in the business. In this month’s installment we are profiling Massimo Bottura, the Modena, Italy-based chef whose restaurant Osteria Francescana has gained international acclaim — including the title of fifth best restaurant in the world on San Pellegrino's World's 50 Best Restaurants list. On top of that, The Daily Meal named Bottura its International Chef of the Year for 2012. We sat down with the chef in New York at Eataly's Birreria.
In part three of our series we discuss his mentors and opening Osteria Francescana. He explains why it was so important for him to study under a variety of mentors: “If you want to do contemporary cuisine you have to learn everything. And then you have to forget everything and make something new. But if you want to start, you have to start from the basics.” He also discussed why it took time for Osteria Francescana to get to the place it is today. He notes, “I was doing those kind of [dishes], the ice cream bar of foie gras... But people they weren’t ready. They were too provocative.” It took a friend reminding him that he needed to show mastery over the basics first, in order to convince diners that his food was truly excellent.
For more from Bottura, including a life-changing incident with Alain Ducasse, watch part three above! You can also catch parts one and two if you missed them, and look out for part four coming next Monday!