Growing up in the Italian countryside, Massimo Bottura was often chased by his big brothers. He would run to the kitchen and seek refuge under the table where the ladies of the house were rolling pasta and shaping tortellini. His grandmother would defend him by waving a rolling pin in the air and telling his big brothers to get lost - all while the future chef was reaching a hand over the table and secretly stuffing his mouth with fresh tortellini.
It's memories like this that set the foundation for what would become a stellar culinary career as one of Italy's most well-known chefs. His restaurant Osteria Francescana in Modena may boast three-Michelin stars but Bottura gets the most pleasure out of the simple things in life, such as the food of the Emilia-Romagna region where he grew up.
The chef credits Parmigiano Reggiano for building his muscles and says balsamic vinegar runs through his veins. He delights in telling others he comes from the land of prosciutto and mortadella and that there is nothing like the terroir of Modena.
Below the chef explains what makes the food of Emilia-Romagna so special and why he just can't get enough of Parmigiano Reggiano.