Massimo Bottura is offering free cookery lessons via Instagram
The chef’s new Kitchen Quarantine series is a fun, useful way to share his skills with a world in lockdown
What are the world’s star chefs doing, during the Coronavirus lockdown? At least one of them is teaching the world to cook simple, nutritious recipes, via Instagram.
Massimo Bottura first found fame via his internationally acclaimed restaurant, Osteria Francescana, in Modena, Italy, which topped the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list twice. He then put that fame to good use, establishing a series of haute-cuisine soup kitchens, or Reffetorios, which took unwanted restaurant ingredients and turned them into high-class, healthy, nutritious meals for the poor.
Now, in lockdown with his family in Modena, he’s using his Instagram account to share simple recipes with the world, via a new series he’s called Kitchen Quarantine.
The broadcast goes out at 8pm central European Time (that’s 7pm in London, 3pm in New York and midday in LA), is filmed by his daughter, Alexa, and features impromptu appearances from his wife and business partner, Lara Gilmore, and their son, Charlie. Bottura insists that despite appearances, it isn't a cooking show.
“It’s just a way to share with people from all over the world,” he said in a Q&A session following the broadcast. “There’s a beautiful sentence in Italian from a poet, Franco Arminio: yes, we are here, home, but we are talking with the whole world, so we are sharing with the whole world.”
What tips has he said so far? Well, in his vegetable curry recipe, he advocated leaving the skin on vegetables, to add an earthy flavour; there’s also a great step-by-step guide to making a bechamel sauce – see chef Bottura move it on and off a high gas flame for true Michelin-star technique – as well as little tidbits of kitchen advice.
He always washes his hands (of course) and urges his viewers to be good to themselves and the planet. “Drink plenty of orange juice, freshly squeezed,” he says, “and with the leftover skins you can make a great marmellata.”
For more on the haute cuisine side of Massimo, get Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef; for more of the philanthropic and anti-food waste aspect of his work, get Bread is Gold.