Why has Massimo opened a Gucci restaurant?
The chef says his new osteria, part of the new multipurpose Gucci Garden, is an expression of his taste and travels
Got good taste in clothes, and food? Then we have an Italian dininy tip for you. Massimo Bottura has just opened a new 50-seat restaurant inside Gucci's new multipurpose Florentine venture, Gucci Garden. The restaurant, which opened earlier this week - alongside an exhibition space, a boutique and high-fashion curiosity shop - occupies the ground floor of this new three-storey establishment in the Palazzo della Mercanzia in Florence, a fourteenth century building which has been home to the Gucci museum since 2011.
The restaurant is being curated by Bottura and overseen by Karime Lopez Kondo, wife of the Osteria Francescana sous chef Taka Kondo. Its menu will offer familiar Italian dishes such as tortellini and risotto, as well as more exotic foods such as Latin American tostadas and East Asian pork belly buns, and reflects Massimo's experiences and influences. "‘Travelling the world, our kitchen interacts with everything we see, hear and taste," the chef explains.
This is not the only new venture for Phaidon chefs in 2018. We already reported on René Redzepi's re-opening of Noma; meanwhile, Daniel Patterson has just teamed up with West Indian chef Nigel Jones to open Kaya, a Jamaican restaurant in San Francisco, while Jeremiah Stone and Fabián von Hauske Valtierra, the duo behind NYC's Contra and Wildair (and authors of a forthcoming Phaidon book), plan to open Una Pizza Napoletana in the city with the West Coast pizza chef Anthony Mangieri.
Of course, Massimo has been a Gucci guy for some time. The fashion house's CEO Marco Bizzarri was one of Bottura's childhood childhood friends, and he has worn Gucci clothes and shoes throughout his recent Bread is Gold promotional book tour.
That publication described how he set up a series of haute-cuisine soup kitchens, where he and his famous chef colleagues turned bin-bound ingredients into incredible, healthy dishes for the poor. However, you don't need to be a down-and-out to eat at the new Gucci Osteria; far from it, in fact. Dishes start at around €20, and the restaurant is taking reservations midday to 8:30pm on +39 055 75927038.