Yesterday evening, Massimo Bottura, the renowned three-Michelin-starred chef and Maserati brand ambassador, joined the first Press Day of the International Motor Show.
During the event, Bottura delighted spectators, sharing his vision, his passion and his journey; as a boy, he grew up with the sound of the engine, as well as with balsamic vinegar and his grandmother’s wisdom in the kitchen.
And it’s thanks to this that today his job is a matter of vision, inspiration, intuition, poetry, executed with passion.
Starting with this philosophical background, he has reimagined the culinary traditions of Italy and Modena, taking an extremely contemporary and sometimes even futuristic approach, coming up with dishes such as the Levante, inspired by the Maserati SUV.
Levante is a wind that blows across Italy from the Adriatic in the east to the Tirreno Sea in the west. It brings with it unexpected aromatic ingredients in the form of citrus infused rice served on top of fresh water fish marinated in fennel and orange.
The chef also prepared other dishes inspired by his origins and his childhood food memories. This is true of “The crunchy part of lasagne”: a taste of the memory of being a child and - like every kid - always trying to pinch the most delicious burnt corner of the lasagna from the roasting dish that his grandmother had lovingly prepared. Today, this edible throwback takes the form of a sheet of crunchy pasta balanced on top of a hand-chopped meat sauce and béchamel so light it is like a bird about to take flight.
Another evocative dish is the “Memory of a mortadella sandwich”: “Can a recipe ever replace a memory?” Massimo Bottura said. “My mother chased me down the street with a mortadella sandwich everyday on my way to school. In honour of her earnest effort to feed me, this memory has been revived with crunchy gnocco and the purest essence of mortadella”.
Reid Bigland, Maserati CEO, also experienced this great moment and commented: “Massimo has shown true genius in expressing a modern or even futuristic vision of this tradition in every flavour, without ever betraying its origins. All this is very close to the Maserati tradition of designing, developing and building cars here in Italy that can excite and delight their drivers all over the world”. Bigland continued: “it’s also a great pleasure to host Maserati and Ermenegildo Zegna customers here in Geneva allowing them to appreciate Massimo’s culinary art”.
Maserati and Bottura have been partners since 2015, and, in November, the Modena-based chef received his new Levante, the first SUV in more than 100 years of the brand’s existence. Bottura is the chef patron of the “Osteria Francescana”, which was awarded the title of the World's best restaurant last year by the respected "The World's 50 Best Restaurants 2016".