What’s Massimo Bottura up to in 2019?
The chef and Phaidon author has plans for new restaurants across the world, and a hotel in the Italian countryside
When Massimo Bottura says he’ll be right back, he means it. The chef, philanthropist and Phaidon author crisscrossed the globe in 2018, topping the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list for a second time; appearing on Jimmy Kimmel; hanging out with Harry Styles, U2 and Alicia Keys; opening a new refettorio with the artist JR in Paris; and buddying up with Gucci to open a high-fashion restaurant.
However, 2019 looks set to be just as action packed, with a new country inn in rural Italy, a Gucci Osteria in Los Angeles, and plenty of Food for Soul haute-cuisine soup kitchens in North America, which will offer the continent’s best, most talented chefs the chance to turn unwanted food into healthy, nutritious restaurant-style meals for the poor and needy. Oh, and he’s also opening a Italian Riviera-style restaurant in Dubai, called Torno Subito or I’ll Be Back Soon. Massimo, it isn’t as if you ever went away!
What inspired you most in 2018? The enthusiasm of the volunteers and the French 3 Michelin Star chefs at the Refettorio Paris - together we can make great things happen...
What annoyed you most in 2018? Arrogance.
What was your personal highlight of 2018? Opening il TORTELLANTE. Pasta frees everyone. A project linking special needs young adults with Rezdore, Golden pasta makers, to create a laboratory and pasta shop to make and sell traditional Modenese tortellini. www.tortellante.it
What can we expect from you in 2019? There is more future in my future! Opening in January is 'Torno Subito' in the new W Hotel on the Palms in Dubai, a total new concept where the Italian Riviera meets Memphis and an unconventional chef. Opening in April, 'Maria Luigia', Country Inn, with 12 rooms in the Emilian landscape. In Spring LA Gucci Osteria and Food for Soul comes to America with Refettorios in unexpected locations including Mexico and USA.
Who did you give your Phaidon book to for Xmas? Every family I know!
Do you know a family, or indeed any cook who could benefit from a tale of great food conjured from unwanted food waste, as well as plenty of recipes by Massimo and his famous chef friends? Then order a copy of Bread is Gold here. And if you want to double down on this chef, we're currently doing a gift deal on the Massimo Bottura collection, here.