Skip to content

Celeb Chef Massimo Bottura Talks Bubbles, Balsamic, Bourbon, and Italian Wines You Have to Know

Massimo Bottura is seemingly at all times on the go.

By the point the famend Italian chef arrived in Park Metropolis, Utah, in mid-December, he had spent six weeks flying around the globe, from Mexico to New York, Paris, Miami, and Dubai. Scattered amongst these stops have been quite a few returns to his hometown of Modena in northern Italy to go to his well-known three-star-Michelin restaurant, Osteria Francescana (which was named greatest restaurant on the planet not as soon as, however twice, by the World’s 50 Finest Eating places group in 2016 and 2018), in addition to his beloved 18th-century nation home, Casa Maria Luigia.

So when Bottura settled in for the three-day Style of Luxurious meals and wine collection on the Empire Canyon Lodge, nestled into the majestic mountains of Deer Valley ski resort, you’d assume jet lag and exhaustion would have bogged him down. Simply the alternative. With unbounding power, the effusive Bottura regaled a room with colourful tales in regards to the origins of his biggest hits, which might be served that night. Whether or not it was reminiscing over his grandmother’s lasagna for the “Crunchy A part of the Lasagna” or how a mistake within the kitchen years in the past turned “Oops … I Dropped the Lemon Tart,” every dish’s story noticed Bottura shifting round with joyful depth because the visitors held on his each phrase.

Get the newest in beer, wine, and cocktail tradition despatched straight to your inbox.

VinePair sat down with the long-lasting chef simply earlier than he plunged right into a VIP meet-and-greet. We mentioned new endeavors, a possible dream bourbon venture with Matthew McConaughey, and Italian wines he thinks individuals have to know extra about.

[Editor’s note: This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.]

1. How did you spend the vacations with the Francescana staff?

We share this wine known as Difesa della Natura, which is impressed by [German artist] Joseph Beuys. It is a 100% Chardonnay from Cantina della Volta that grows on a really small sunny hill with lovely terroir. It is just like the 4 totally different components of Joseph Beuys’ [philosophy], with one huge oak on the label that may be a image of longevity; some rosemary on the facet that may be a image of fertility; bay leaf [represents] the glory of the emperor; and roses that, even when they’re lifeless, remind you to not get misplaced in on a regular basis life as a result of they pinch you.

2. With the vacations, individuals love celebrating with glowing wine. Do you will have a favorite?

I might go for Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé. It is unbelievable — like consuming the juice of strawberry.

3. And what do you prefer to pair it with?

It is superb with a plate of tortellini. As an alternative of parmigiano, you will have a tortellini with basic broth and a contact of brut rosé contained in the hen broth. Drink the tortellini and the brother with the rosé. it is [a riff on] an outdated type of consuming tortellini: with a glass of Lambrusco that offers somewhat little bit of acidity.

4. Talking of Lambrusco, do you assume it is having a second?

Lambrusco is so huge in Italy. Everyone desires Lambrusco as a result of the brand new producers — the youthful generations of the outdated producers like Chiarli, Cavicchioli, Bellei, Paltrinieri — they’re very, superb. They usually seek for high quality and never amount. The Lambrusco they’re serving now are actually top quality.

All summer season we had Hollywood stars in Casa Maria Luigia. And all summer season they have been asking for Lambrusco. At one level I stated to Justin Timberlake, “You actually like Lambrusco, no?” He was there with Jessica Biel and so they have been actually into Lambrusco and Parmigiano. At Maria Luigia, the welcome [bags] in each room embody a bottle of Lambrusco and a 36-month aged Parmigiano. It is a approach to promote the terroir, as a result of balsamic vinegar, Lambrusco, parmigiano, mortadella, culatello, and prosciutto—all of them come from the meals valley the place I am from. However individuals do not understand that every thing comes from Modena. They do not notice the unbelievable high quality.

5. However everybody is aware of about balsamic vinegar from Modena, certainly?

Nobody is aware of what [real] balsamic vinegar is ’til they fight. I used to be with Matthew McConaughey and we have been tasting balsamic vinegar from totally different ages. It went so loopy. He stated, “How can we evolve this sort of strategy to my bourbon?” He is actually into bourbon. And I stated, “Pay attention, why do not we use a number of the barrels that we use with balsamic vinegar, transfer them to Kentucky, and age some bourbon in them? He stated, “Let’s do it. Let’s do it. Let’s do it.”

6. So is that really occurring?

I might love to try this. I might do that simply to have enjoyable. It is nice.

7. Are there any new initiatives for you on the horizon?

At Torno Subito in Dubai, we received a Michelin star in a spot the place we do pizza on the seaside. Michelin realized that we’re doing pizza another way — with the proper flour, mozzarella we fly [out] thrice every week, and San Marzano tomatoes. We have now 200 covers daily. In just a few months we’re gonna open on the rooftop of the [historic 1936] Walgreen constructing near the Olympia Theater in downtown Miami. The rooftop is gonna have precisely the identical feeling as Dubai. It is like, Fellini — “8 ½,” “The Circus,” “La Dolce Vita” — that type of very straightforward strategy, however lovely, lovely design.

8. What Italian wine areas are you enthusiastic about now?

Proper now? Abruzzo. I’ve a vertical of Valentini [Trebbiano d’Abruzzo] in Osteria. You open one and it is like, ‘Wow!’ Everyone is loopy about Valentini.

9. Talking of Abruzzo, what do you consider Pecorino wine?

Beppe [Giuseppe Palmieri, Osteria Francescana restaurant manager and sommelier] has been my director for 22 years at Francescana. He was the primary one who uncovered Pecorino to the world. And it is getting huge now. Very, very huge.

10. What are some Italian varietals American drinkers want to concentrate to? What others are rising?

Rising? Trebbiano di Spagna is often used for balsamic vinegar however there’s just a few producers now making a Spumante Classico Italiano within the hills of Modena. That is very attention-grabbing. We’re serving that as an introduction at Cavallino, the brand new restaurant that we’ve got in partnership with Ferrari. Pecorino is one other one. And I at all times love Sicilian wines. Should you go to Etna, you get these sorts of mineral wines with the lavic terroir.

This story is part of VP Professional, our free content material platform and publication for the drinks trade, overlaying wine, beer, and liquor — and past. Join VP Professional now!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *