Massimo Bottura, chef and author of Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef

Phaidon Outtakes #2 Bottura and the beautiful game

Could our skinny Italian chef have found fame on the football pitch, rather than in the 50 Best Restaurants list?

"My first passion was soccer and then music," the Italian chef and Phaidon author Massimo Bottura told the Wall Street Journal recently. Indeed the skinny chef was a pretty tasty player in his time. If you’ve read Bottura’s New Yorker profile you'll know that while in the army for his Italian National Service, the chef won so many trophies for his base’s team, that his superiors bent the rules a little, and allowed him to dive in and out of his barracks more or less at will. He would, The New Yorker reports, dive up to the gates of the base, honk his horn and call out,  “Open up. It’s me, No. 1.”


Massimo and the beautiful game

However, it was, of course, his talents in the kitchen that eventually won him fame all around the world. But if you want a sneak peak at Bottura's ball control take a look at this outtake from our recent Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef video with him. It was shot in the back streets of one of Modena where Massimo has his restaurant Osteria Francescana.

Every afternoon between lunch and dinner service Massimo plays football with his chefs in the alley between the kitchen and prep areas. By the way, the bike you see being fixed by Massimo's head chef Taka (of Opps I dropped a lemon tart fame) was originally Massimo’s. He gave it to Taka after he took a shine to it. 

If you’d like to know more about Massimo's life, work and outlook, buy a copy of Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef here.