Italian chef Massimo Bottura is known for blending earthy flavors and art on a plate at his restaurant Osteria Francescana. His love of nature will be recognized next week when the chef receives the XVI Premio Amanita, the world's most distinguished award in the field of mycology, the study of fungi.
Bottura is set to receive the award on November 25th by the International Cooking School of the Chamber of Valladolid for his mastery of mushrooms. Past recipients of this honor include Joan Roca, chef of El Celler de Can Roca, currently the world's best restaurant.
So why has this prestigious honor been bestowed upon Bottura?
FDL reached out to the chef who told us he ''broke the rules of serving white truffle on eggs and risotto.'' He explained that he likes to camouflage truffles and mushrooms in innovative dishes that push the limits between savory and sweet. ''Often we make our greatest mistakes by complicating our plates when we can reduce an idea to a few gestures.''
Below are some of the dishes that showcase Bottura's creativity with fungi:
Hunting the pigeon Hunter or hunted?
Farm raised pigeon breast is glazed with Traditional Balsamic Vinegar from Modena and served with a faux mineral salad of beets and turnips, porcini mushrooms, apples and truffles.
A thousand layers of leaves
A handful of leaves carries the poetry of the everyday. Dried and candied leaves are layered with mushrooms, truffles, chestnut, chocolate, vin brulè and pumpkin cream.
Chicken, Chicken, Chicken...Where Are You?
A colorful dish featuring shredded daikon, carrots, celery and other root vegetables intermingled with shitake mushrooms in a rich chicken broth. Like this dish? Here's the chef's special recipe.
Bottura's Osteria Francescana currently ranks third on the World's 50 Best Restaurants list sponsored by S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna.