A true son of Emilia Romagna, the culinary capital of Italy, Massimo Bottura was born in Modena in September 1962 and is one of a growing band of innovative chefs that are pushing the boundaries of food and dining as we have come to know them. Massimo’s first experience of food and ingredients came from the many hours he claims he spent under his grandmother’s kitchen table, where he went to seek refuge from his older brothers. Here, at her knee, his great love affair with all things culinary began, and he took the first steps of his journey to the culinary excellence that would one day see his restaurant receiving no less than 3 Michelin stars.
A bit about his background.
Massimo did not initially set out to become a chef; he was studying law in 1986, when he heard that a roadside trattoria on the outskirts of Modena was for sale. He decided to take a break from his studies, bought and renovated the building and a week later he opened his first restaurant, the Trattoria del Campazzo; the rest, as they say, is history and the law faculty’s loss was the Culinary world’s gain.
It was not an overnight success story for Massimo Bottura, but rather a journey of discovery as he first apprenticed with Chef Georges Cogny, where the foundations of his culinary knowledge were laid down with a good grounding in the principles of regional Italian cooking combined with classic French cuisine. He later worked with renowned chefs Alain Ducasse (Hotel de Paris in Monte Carlo) and Ferran Adria of El Bulli fame in Spain.
Massimo opens his restaurant in his home town: Modena.
In 1995 he opened Osteria Francescana in the medieval city centre of his home town, Modena, with the intention of combining contemporary art, traditional Italian cuisine and his now-renowned innovative genius. In the following years Massimo and Osteria Francescana received numerous awards, including his first Michelin Star in 2002. A second star followed in 2006 and in 2012 he received his third Michelin star, making him one of only 7 Italian chefs to have been so honoured.
In addition, Osteria Francescana was named the Best Italian Restaurant in the world, and the 4th Best Restaurant in the World in 2011, on The World’s 50 Best Restaurant List. In the latest list for 2013, he has climbed yet another rung of the ladder and is placed at no 3!
The signature dishes of Massimo Bottura.
And the food, you may ask… Massimo himself describes each of his innovative dishes as being a reconstruction of an idea, a memory or a smile, and since he has lived in Modena all his life, the region plays an important role in his food. To whet your appetite, here are a couple of the dishes which will be served for his New Year’s Eve dinner – dedicated to his friends around the world with inspiring dishes from all corners of the globe. From Italy comes Sea urchin spaghetti in the Neopolitan tradition with aglio, olio e peperoncino (olive oil, garlic and chilli), from France there is Foie gras and white truffle (a marriage of French and Italian delicacies) in an Emilian ravioli. Nordic countries are represented by the Aurora borealis dish – porcini, black truffles, chestnuts, chocolate and pumpkin beneath a blanket of leaves.
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The tour of the Parmesan Reggiano cheese dairy, Balsamic Vinegar farm, the Parma ham and lunch at the organic vineyard was thoroughly enjoyed by our family of 4. Paolo was a gracious and knowledgeable host for the day and provided us with insights to the production of the cheese and balsamic vinegar which was enhanced due to his chemistry background. We would thoroughly recommend this tour to those interested in the specialities produced in the Modena region.
We had a wonderful tour, best part about visiting the Modena region!
The tour was perfect. I think Paolo would be a splendid ambassador for Italy in the EU. He knows how excellent Italian food and eating together can solve many major problems, and can stop aggressive behavior. Not the hunt for more money, but the well being of family and friends counts. Paolo shows us the products of ages of civilization and he did this like an artist. So after the tour we really love Italia more and we'll come back. We will call you Paolo, Thanks!
Following two tours with your guides this week I would like to express my thanks for some wonderful experiences.
Monday we did the tour of cheese making, balsamic and Salami which was very good and the guide Paolo was very knowledgeable.
The truffle hunt tour today was absolutely amazing, the guide Stefano is pure gold and the tour was built with much thought. Our best experience so far, by far.
Looking forward to more tours and fun next time we are in Italy.
The group (and me) was VERY satisfied. We really enjoyed the Parmegiano Regiano which was interesting and we got to buy some delicate and cheap cheese, the same with the balsamico. The Ferrari driving was off course an experience for life. The Winery lunch felt very genuine and the people there was really welcoming and nice people. The genuine feeling there was however the big plus for us.
Paolo was excellent as our guide. He also felt very genuine. He did not talk just for the sake of talking, but when he had something to say he did it in a respectful and nice way. Everyone in the group really liked him.
I wanted to let you know what a great day we had this past Friday on our tour with Jacamo. (Probably not spelling it right) He was very nice and explained everything to us. It sure gives you a new appreciation when you are slicing cheese. 🙂 Our tour ended with him taking us to the vineyard for a tour and lunch and there, Paolo, the owner could not have been more nicer. It was a perfect ending.
Please let Jacamo know what a great job he did and how much we really appreciated it and his knowledge
The website is well structured and we received a prompt answer to all questions. Gabriele supported us with all information we needed and the organization before the trip was excellent.
We had an air conditioned van, which was very relaxing through the whole tour. The first stop was the parmigiano production, which was very impressive and interesting. We could learn and especially see all the different steps and even taste the various aged parmigiano. The second step was the balsamic vinegar tasting. Finally the meat part was interesting in the museum but we hoped that we also could see more about the production and their work, but the tasting was delicious. In overall we had a very informative and well accommodated half day with our guide
It was great experience! We visited Parmesan cheese production, Balsamic vinegar farm, Ham museum and Farmer's lunch. Our guide gave us a detailed explanation, we were very satisfied. An excellent tour for a reasonable price, highly recommended.
Nous sommes une famille de cinq et nous avons adoré notre expérience. Les trois endroits étaient choisis judicieusement. Notre guide était très généreuse et super gentille. Nous recommandons ce tour ( parmesan, vinaigre balsamique et jambon de parme).
My family felt our first trip to Italy must include a tour of a Parmesan Cheese Factory so when I stumbled on this website several months ago I had no idea what I treasure I found! From the moment I submitted a request for the tour, my experience with Emilia Delizia was first rate. Gabriele provided excellent customer service by patiently answering all my questions to guide me through the selection and reservation of our Foodie Delight Tour. Paolo, our driver, was prompt, cordial and knowledgeable about the processes we were observing and the area in general conveying loads of information with his well-developed English speaking skills. Our stop in Modena fell on a Saturday so we were quite fortunate to end up with a private tour which allowed us to have a nice, personal interaction with the people at each site. Everyone was friendly, generous with the tastings and we never felt rushed to move along to the next location. Now that we have returned to the states, my family agrees this tour was a highlight of our 10 day trip. I was really looking forward to this excursion and am glad to report it exceeded my expectations.