Massimo Bottura, chef at the Osteria Francescana restaurant with three Michelin stars

Did you know that Chef Massimo Bottura and his multi-starred restaurant Osteria Francescana has been near the top ranking for years in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants?

Recently the word “chef” has taken a powerful hold on our collective imagination. And many Italian chefs have become famous and known even to the general public. In this article, we introduce Massimo Bottura, the chef at the three-Michelin-starred restaurant Osteria Francescana.

massimo bottura
Massimo Bottura – Ph: Paolo Terzi/Bloomberg

Massimo Bottura is one of the most famous Italian chefs abroad: he is the highest-ranking representative of local haute cuisine in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2015, holding second place. Born and raised in Modena, Bottura began his career in cooking in 1986 when he took over an old trattoria in Campazzo, close to Nonantola. In 1991, he won the Excellent Cuisine prize from the Accademia Italiana della Cucina.

In 1992, he began travelling to get international work experience. He was invited to work with Alain Ducasse in Monte Carlo, and this is where Massimo Bottura learned about the refinement and creativity of French cuisine. In 1995, he returned to Modena to open the Osteria Francescana. The chef Ferran Adrià discovered him there and invited him to Spain for a few months, where Bottura learned and honed his skills in molecular cuisine. He earned his first Michelin star in 2002, a second star four years later, and the third in 2012.

osteria francescana

Today, Osteria Francescana has a place on the list of the 50 best restaurants in the world, and for four years it has been the highest-ranked Italian restaurant. A prominent figure in the new generation of Italian chefs, Massimo Bottura opened the gastro-bistro Franceschetta 58 in 2011, also in Modena, working with Marta Pulini, founding chef of Bibendum catering.


One of Bottura’s slogans is Evolving tradition, where food traditions are seen from a critical, un-nostalgic point of view in order to bring the best of the past into the future.

Among his most famous dishes are the Cinque stagionature del parmigianoFive stages of Parmesan, served in varying consistencies and temperatures, l’anguilla laccata con la saba – eel glazed with saba, Campania apple concentrate and toasted polenta soup, and Croccantino di foie gras con nocciole del Piemonte, mandorle di Noto e aceto balsamicofoie gras crackers with Piedmont hazelnuts, Noto almonds and balsamic vinegar (by Massimo Bottura).

From a love of tradition to a taste for innovation.