Massimo Bottura’s Osteria Francescana named the World’s Best Restaurant

Picture by Oliviero ToscaniMassimo Bottura’s Osteria Francescana has been crowned the Best Restaurant in the World.

The three-Michelin-starred restaurant in Modena, Italy, beat incumbent El Celler de Can Roca in Spain to win the title having previously placed second (2015) and third (2014/2013) in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, which is run by Restaurant Magazine. For the first time this year the awards were hosted in New York City and not London.

Massimo is known for his highly artistic avant-garde cooking style, which reinvents traditional Italian cuisine. His signature dishes include the Five Ages of Parmigiano Reggiano, which sees the famed cheese served in five different forms and textures ranging from demi-soufflé to a mousse, a liquid cream, a crisp wafer and a “breath of air” derived from a broth of Parmigiano rind.

This year, the top 10 of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants saw a bit of a shake up, with New York City’s Eleven Madison Park taking third place (fifth last year) and Central, Virgilio Martinez’s restaurant in Lima, Peru, ranking in fourth place.

Copenhagen’s Noma, which had previously won the award four times, has dropped to number five. The remainder of the top 10 is made up of Mirazur in Menton, France; Mugaritz in San Sebastián, Spain; Narisawa in Tokyo, Japan; Steireck in Vienna, Austria; and Asador Etxebarri in Axpe, Spain.

Tdominique crennhe USA boasts a total of six restaurants on the list including former One To Watch winner Saison (27) in San Francisco, which is one of four new entries to the list (along with four re-entries). New York’s Estela (44) is also a newcomer, while Alinea in Chicago has climbed 11 places to 15. And San Francisco’s Dominique Crenn (pictured), who was the first woman in the USA to have won two Michelin stars, has this year been named the World’s Best Female Chef.

Bad news, however, have come for iconic US chefs Thomas Keller and Daniel Boulud as their restaurants have dropped off the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. Boulud’s eponymous Daniel in New York dropped to place 71, while Keller’s Per Se is now ranked 52nd and The French Laundry is at number 85.

Other US restaurants ranked in the top 100 are: The Restaurant at Meadowood (67); The Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare (81); Manresa (83); and Benu (89).

The highest-ranking UK restaurant this year is Brett Graham’s The Ledbury, which has climbed six places to number 14. Meanwhile Dinner By Heston Blumenthal, which ranked in seventh place last year, has dropped to number 45 this.

The Clove Club in Shoreditch has won the Highest New Entry Award after climbing 29 places to enter the top 50 for the first time at number 26. Other UK restaurants featured in the top 100 include: Hedone (60); Lyle’s (65); and St John (91).

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Top 10:

  1. Osteria Francescana Modena, Italy
  2. El Celler de Can Roca Girona, Spain
  3. Eleven Madison Park New York, USA
  4. Central, Lima, Peru
  5. Noma Copenhagen, Denmark
  6. Mirazur, Menton, France
  7. Mugaritz San Sebastián, Spain
  8. Narisawa, Tokyo, Japan
  9. Steireck, Vieanna, Austria
  10. Asador Etxebarri in Axpe, Spain

See the full list of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants here.

Massimo Bottura opens Ristorante Italia in Istanbul

Picture by Oliviero Toscani

Picture by Oliviero Toscani

Three-Michelin-starred chef Massimo Bottura of Osteria Francescana in Modena today opens his first restaurant outside of Italy: Ristorante Italia in the Turkish metropolis of Istanbul.

The new restaurant, located in the residential Besiktas neighbourhood on the top floor of Eataly, brings together traditional Italian flavours and contemporary cooking techniques.  Bottura has reworked 100 classic Italian recipes from across the country, recreating iconic Italian dishes such as Mozzarella in Carrozza, Spaghetti Cetarese, Bollito Misto and Tiramisu.

Ristorante Italia will not use top imported Italian products but also source many of its ingredients from Turkey and take advantage of Eataly’s in-house dairy production.

Interiors of the restaurant feature lighting by Davide Groppi, leather upholstered chairs by Poltrona Frau and lounge furniture from Bottega Veneta’s exclusive home collection. To complete the Italian experience, an outdoor cocktail and gelato bar is found on the landscaped dining terrace with furniture and carpeting by designer Paola Lenti. Overlooking the Zorlu center gardens, the terrace looks back to the walk-in cellar and dining room, its walls adorned with a selection of contemporary art curated by Massimo Bottura.

Ristorante Italia di Massimo Bottura
EATALY Istanbul
Zorlu Center
Levazým Mahellesi Koru Sokak no.2
34340 Istanbul
Tel: +90 212 336 66 66

Beneath the Whites – Massimo Bottura

Massimo Bottura is the chef-patron of the three-Michelin-starred Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy, which is currently ranked number three in the S. Pellegrino list of the  World’s 50 Best Restaurants. Undoubtedly one of the foremost ambassadors of modern Italian cuisine, his avant-garde cooking style is influenced as much by the traditions of his native region of Emilia-Romagna as it is by music, art and literature. Here Massimo shares a few thoughts on what inspires his culinary philosophies. 

What’s your earliest food memory?
Hiding, under my grandmother’s table, from my three older brothers’ torments and threats. I found peace at my grandmother’s feet as she rolled out the dough for tortellini, among the smells of broth and roast meats, and silenced by the constant chatting of my grandmother, mother and aunt who prepared meals for the 10 of us every lunch and dinner.

What’s your idea of comfort food?
My grandmother’s tortellini! They are small packages of Emilian flavor perfectly balanced and complete. Traditionally they are served in capon broth but at Osteria Francescana we serve them in a Parmigiano Reggiano sauce made without heavy cream but with water and emulsified Parmigiano Reggiano. We boil the tortellini in capon broth so that they can acquire the flavour of the broth, then dress them with the Parmigiano cream. Delicious! However, we haven’t modified the tortellini just the sauce – I wouldn’t dare change my grandmother’s tortellini filling!

What do you never cook without?
My team. I admire their dedication and loyalty. We are very focused on what we are doing: to achieve pure flavors and long lasting ideas.

Who’s had the biggest influence on your cooking?
Many things have influenced my cooking but of these the most influential are probably my travels, which stain my thoughts and therefore my food; my reflections on my own territory, family and traditions, which influence my choices; and finally contemporary art, which has had a big influence of the way I approach Italian cuisine.

When are you happiest?
Listening to music. I love to listen to vinyl records on my turntable after work. Sometimes jazz, sometimes electronica, and sometimes old classic rock that takes me back in time. The experience of listening to music, especially when you turn out the lights gives me space to think.

If you could travel in time, where would you go?
My speciality as a chef is to revisit traditional recipes and ideas and make them contemporary. If I could travel in time therefore, I would probably like to go back to explore our Italian history. History has placed many layers upon the surface of this country and many cross-cultural influences have left their mark on its cuisine. The better you understand your past the more you can use it to influence your future, or in my case my cooking!

Follow Massimo on Twitter @massimobottura