Massimo Bottura with a copy of his book in Eataly, New York City - photo Mat Smith

Who is Massimo Bottura giving his book to this Christmas?

The chef and Phaidon author tells us his personal highs and lows of 2018 and who’ll be getting a great gift

Massimo Bottura’s first book might have been called Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef, but over the past year this particular skinny chef, philanthropist and Phaidon author has proved pretty trustworthy, faithfully outperforming his culinary rivals at every twist and turn and, significantly, making the world a much better place for those less well off as he did so.

In 2018, his restaurant Osteria Francescana returned to the top of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list; his charity project, Food For Soul, (the subject of his second book Bread is Gold), welcomed the Roca brothers, cellist Yo-Yo Ma and U2 among luminaries to its haute cusine soup kitchens; his Dubai restaurant, Torno Subito - a contemporary take on stylish, mid-century Italian coastal resort restaurants - is opening in January; and his new tortellini project is about to launch in Modena. Not a bad 12 months, Massimo. We're in awe of your achievements. Read on to find out about his highs and lows of 2018, and who he plans to give his book to this Christmas.


A spread from Bread is Gold
A spread from Bread is Gold

What inspired you most this year? 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? Arrogance.

What was your personal highlight? 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.

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 will you give your Phaidon book to for Xmas?  I would like to give it to every family in the world.


Bread is Gold
Bread is Gold

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.