Massimo Bottura, the chef that enchants with his cuisine and his words


(Here you could find the first part)

Massimo Bottura suggests a Menu of the Senses that uses the best ingredients and starts as follows:

Break, transform, recreate. The artist doesn’t deny the past. He tries to transform to create the future.
He starts with the past, recovering the pieces. We have an Italy that has been in the same condition for 2,000+ years. A marvelous country that we are piecing back together.

Our work each and every day is to put the pieces back together. A very small country like Italy is well-known and loved the world over.

Onion cappuccino with potatoes
“I made this when Ducasse came to lunch. It was the start of my quest for myself: onions and potatoes. This is the perfect example of the Emiliana countryside with the key ingredients of this land, balsamic vinegar.
The pasta is dried shortbread crumbs, powdered and mixed with flour, and then the cappuccino foam, or mortadella foam. It’s like cappuccino and a croissant but inside is the story of our land: onions, potatoes, mortadella and shortbread crumbs.”

We have to raise awareness about our resources, ingredients, techniques and identity to create images that will lead us into the future.

Dishes such as social gestures?
Can responsibility, thought, culture, consciousness and knowledge help a place, asked Massimo Bottura before introducing:

Lambrusco Infused Cotechino and Sbrisolona
"From the stretch of land between Modena and Mirandola based on the cotechino in galera, a dish from 1910.
Mirandola, a land devastated by the earthquake, is the birthplace of cotechino. Then, if we head toward Sorbara, in the Lambruso region, we come to the birthplace of sbrisolona, a traditional almond-based sweet that breaks down the border between sweet and savory. It is a testament to the talents artisans in those lands, who have already produced quality products and kept their culture alive. This is how you keep a place alive, even after a disaster. "

Imagine the poetic in everyday life

Mille-feuille of Leaves
"The lightness of the winter landscape and the cold. I appeal to the young: we need humility, passion and dreams. I look at the ground around a tree, walk toward it, pick it up and eat it, find the poetry in every gesture, discovering the spirit of things. A handful of leaves, a chestnut in his pocket, a pumpkin in the basement at the end of the season.
The secret of happiness is not to get caught up with obsessions. A part of us should roam free in the realm of poetry. This is the secret to how we can propel ourselves into the future.
And let’s not forget the mushrooms, the truffles, the  leaves … "

Tortellini in Brodo
"Conventional wisdom says: don’t throw anything away!
Noah's Ark
Generations of Italians have known hunger and we should look at the past with a critical and nostalgic eye. This is when our best dishes emerged, because of necessity. The common wisdom that in the country you don’t throw anything away could be the perfect weapon to today’s recession.
"To make a great broth, use pigeon” "Don’t throw away the broth from the head." "Add pheasant for a touch of class."
Bring tortellini to the next level. Create different broths with all the animals, starting with the Apennines to the countryside: duck, pigeon and then follow the Po to the sea to sample frogs and eels.
You have to accept that there’s some mixing and add a little seaweed à la Yogi, who adds a little Japan to our team. From the mountains to the river, this is a perfect balance of sweet, salty and bitter. One tortellino for each species, from past to present to future.”

Woodland Hare
"I want to tell you about Gertrude Stein, an art collector who always surrounded herself with artists, and Picasso in Paris in 1914. Picasso saw a camouflaged military truck and declared, amazed, that what he saw was cubism.
So my hare civet is Cubist too: celery, turnips, coffee, chocolate, spices and other ingredients to be reworked, dehydrated and compressed to recreate the flavors of the woods. But you cannot create cubism if you do not know how to paint and the same thing is true in the kitchen. You have to know how to roll out the dough with a rolling pin before you can learn and study what they've done to others. It is only then that you find yourself.
Respect, identity, responsibility, wisdom and culture are the words that we must etch in our hearts.

To provide one last piece of imagery, it’s like a social sculpture.

Capri Battery by Joseph Beuys, 1985
This represents the love between the place and the author, emphasized by the flow of energy, a symbol of creativity and respect for natural resources.

Finally, he mentions a work of art from the past: 100 million ceramic sunflower seeds. This was the idea of a great Chinese artist who found a way to create jobs for people in his village 100 km from Beijing, putting all the artisans to work.
And this is where things are similar to Italy: manufacturers have to understand what we do. We must create jobs and save our legacy from the past.

Once again, Massimo Bottura has left us with something to take home with us, or perhaps on our next trip to Italy.

Paola Sucato

See also

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