Long before garnering Michelin stars and becoming Italy's most acclaimed chef, Massimo Bottura was a young law student following a path predetermined by his father. That all changed when he traded school for a trattoria outside of Modena.
Two decades later Bottura is enjoying the jet-set lifestyle of a celebrity chef. In a recent interview with DuJuor, the chef opened up about how his career and how he's changing Italian cuisine.
''Where I come from, there are fast cars and slow food. It's where Ferrari, Maserati, Ducati, Lamborghini are all built. But also it's a place where they grow balsamic vinegar, parmigiano regiano, ham and mortadella. It's an incredible place, and I have a big responsibility to the region,'' he told DuJour.
Bottura blends those traditional ingredients with a touch of imagination at his restaurant Osteria Francescana, which has three Michelin stars and ranks third on the World's 50 Best Restaurants list sponsored by S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna.
Some of the chef's amazing creations include a foie gras popsicle with a balsamic vinegar filling and colorful chicken and vegetable broth. Although he likes to push the envelope with cooking, Bottura told DuJour he respects tradition.
''In Italy, there are certain customs you can't touch: the pope, the soccer team and the traditions. The rest? You can do whatever you want. I tried to evolve Italian cuisine in the past and it was very hard to confront the tradition. Most of the time I ask myself, "Is the tradition really respecting the ingredients?" If it's not, then I have to change the recipe.''