There’s no debating that Italian cuisine is one of the most renowned worldwide. Known for their passion and cooking skills, it seems that the culinary arts run in their blood. So making it on a list of Italy’s very best and most famous chefs is truly an honour. These guys know their way around the kitchen. Here’s Hugo Chetcuti’s first pick of one of Italy’s finest!
Massimo Bottura (Osteria Francescana)
In the culinary world, Bottura needs no introduction. This restauranteur is the iconic chef patron at 3 Michelin-Star restaurant Osteria Francescana in Modena, which got to number one this year at the World’s 50 best restaurant awards and was previously listed in the top 5.
When opening the restaurant, the concept Bottura had in mind was to juxtapose culinary tradition and innovation with contemporary art and design. This creativity can be seen from as early on as the menu, with dish names such as ‘An eel swimming up the Po river’ and ‘The crunchy part of the lasagne’; Osteria Francescana offers as much artistry as it does mouth-watering food.
Bottura’s accomplishments, however, do not end there. The pioneer of modern Italian cooking has also written five books, including ‘Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef’ and the more recent ‘Bread is Gold’.
Perhaps more importantly, though, he teamed up with Lara Gilmore in 2016 and founded the non-profit association Food for Soul and opened a community kitchen in the heart of Rio de Janeiro during the Olympics to empower communities to fight against food waste whilst promoting social inclusion among their guests who come from situations of social vulnerability and food insecurity.
Food for Soul recovers quality surplus food from markets, supermarkets, producers and suppliers that would otherwise go to waste. Bottura’s team of skilled staff and volunteers then transform the recovered food into carefully plated, delicious meals, which they serve to their guests in warm and inspiring environments.
Massimo Bottura developed an interest in cooking from a young age, after watching his mother, aunt, and especially, grandmother cooking meals for the family. Now, the talented personality claims his inspiration comes from the world around him, in the form of “art, music, slow food and fast cars.”
If you would like to taste amazing Italian food made with passion (without having to set foot on a plane), come over to Hugo’s Pizza & Pasta, owned by Italophile Hugo Chetcuti. We only use top quality ingredients and offer a varied menu, which includes signature pasta dishes and gourmet pizzas that incorporate non-traditional ingredients in the likes of candied walnuts, pumpkin cream and pears.