Massimo Bottura is the chef patron of three Michelin-starred restaurant, Osteria Francescana in Italy and an ambassador of modern Italian cuisine. His kitchen is full of compelling contradictions: it is both traditional and conceptual; it is deceivingly minimalist in its presentation and yet full of complex flavours, textures and cultural references to art, literature and history. Massimo Bottura creates real works of art through his food.

His career began in 1986 with apprenticeships under culinary masters like Georges Coigny and Alain Ducasse at Hotel de Paris Montecarlo, forming a foundation of regional Italian cooking and classical French training. The accolades then started to tumble onto chef Bottura’s culinary CV when, in 1995 Bottura opened his Osteria Francescana, where he was free to combine his indisputable talent with his creativity.

Three Michelin stars and second place ranking in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, Chef Bottura’s gastronomic aptitude is at the forefront of modern Italian cuisine. He freely shares his creative process and his respect for the best ingredients. 


FOUR Questions with Massimo

Describe your culinary philosophy in 5 words...

Tradition from ten kilometres away


How did you feel when you were awarded your first Michelin star?

I started dreaming about Michelin stars at age 22…and at 51, I am still dreaming of stars. You have to believe with your whole heart that you can reach your goals, only then is there a chance of them coming true. It is a great responsibility to have a Michelin star, the most important thing is to remember that people are coming to you for an experience. Hopefully it will be one they will never forget.


What is your greatest inspiration?

I always suggest that young chefs read, travel and dig as deep as they can into their culture to understand who they are and where they come from. Then and only then can they discover their true motivations, passions, and their inspirations. This is what I have done over my 26 year career. So, to answer your question, what motivates and inspires me is the world around me – a juxtaposition of who I am and where I have come from. Living in the present but never forgetting all that came before you.


What three things would you take to a desert island?

bowl of tortellini in broth


  • 3 Michelin stars
  • #1 | The World's Best Restaurant (2016)


Osteria Francescana

Via Stella, 22

41121 Modena


+39 059 210118



Find Massimo's recipes from FOUR International Summer 2015 here


Massimo & Osteria Francescana © Paulo Terzi