Osteria Francescana, Massimo Bottura’s restaurant, was rated the world’s best restaurant in 2016 by Restaurant Magazine. Before that, in 2015, it ranked second best. And before that, for two years in a row, 2013 and 2014, it ranked third. The three-star Michelin restaurant also ranks first place according to the Italian Food Guide L’Espresso.
You get the picture.
So naturally, as Devra Ferst explains in her article for TastingTable, nothing would be easier for the chef than “to stay put in Modena and serve his patrons who reserve tables for weeks, if not months, in advance”.
However, the chef rather directed his new efforts towards the Bronx, in New York, where he is working on a new project, under the name of Refettorio Ambrosiano: a soup kitchen, which he will open with partners Robert DeNiro and the Italian Consulate in New York. Apropos of this exceptional initiative, Bottura told the Bergamo Post: “Success today means using the ingredient of culture, because culture is knowledge; and knowledge opens consciences and generates responsibility.”
Bottura, however, is not a strange to this kind of efforts: he also intends to recruit top chefs like Enrique Olvera, Albert Adrià and Alain Ducassem during the Rio Olympic Games, to cook for the residents of the favelas.