Bottura holds Italy on his shoulders

The victory of Osteria Francescana pulls along an entire country. The magnificent four from the magic event in Bilbao all agree

22-06-2018

«Before the ceremony I felt an incredible, magical energy. This, however, often isn’t enough. God knows how hard we’ve worked over the years. We did everything by ourselves. But now I’m floating on air. I’m happy. Why did we win? Simple, because Osteria Francescana is extraordinary and we’ve never cooked such good food as now».

Half an hour after receiving the title of World’s Best Restaurant, the second in three years, Massimo Bottura is full of energy. «Just before the ceremony, the guys from Refettorio in Paris sent me a message: they were holding a sign that said "Bon courage". Can you believe it? Those people don’t even have a roof on their head. To think that we’ve opened a soup kitchen in Rio de Janeiro too…». It’s hard for him to move, surrounded by a swarm of journalists and adoring fans. 

The mms that Bottura got from the guys at Refettorio in Paris before the ceremony 

The mms that Bottura got from the guys at Refettorio in Paris before the ceremony 

The chef from Modena is now holding the entire country on his shoulders: «Carlo Cracco texted me a few minutes ago: "You’re helping all of us". It made me incredibly happy». Shortly before that, Enrico Crippa – who confirmed his place at number 16 in the 50Best, the second best Italian in the world – said something similar: «We’ve just experienced an extraordinary night», said the chef from Piazza Duomo, «I’ve always prayed that you’d go back to number one. It’s crucial for us. We can all profit from this».

The lesson given by the event is clear: the Italian restaurant scene must learn to join forces, more than we’ve ever done. «This is the only way to face the change we’re experiencing», said Lara GilmoreBottura’s wife and a pillar in the success of Francescana. «We’re all winners. And if we manage to pull along the others, we’re happy».

The premise of this edition had alerted Massimiliano Alajmo, chef at Le Calandre, which bounced to number 23, +6 compared to the previous year: «I was worried to see there’s no Italian between the 51st and 100th place: there are armies of Italian chefs who would deserve to be there, not just one or two. Tonight, however, it’s pure joy. But we must work so that these victories are not the result of isolated projects, but of a common strategy. Our institutions must work hard to present our history and greatness».

Last in this report, Niko Romito, 36th, also moving higher and higher: «It’s been a magnificent night. I’m thrilled. How did we make it? Simple, by cooking and making people have a good time. It’s the thing we do best».

Translated into English by Slawka g. Scarso


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