Bottura and Ducasse for Food for Soul at Identità Golose Milano

The two masters of cuisine are old friends: on Tuesday 11th of December they’ll do a four-handed dinner in Via Romagnosi 3

Alain Ducasse and Massimo Bottura in a photo ta

Alain Ducasse and Massimo Bottura in a photo taken at Food For Soul’s Refettorio in London. The French chef cooked in all the Refettorios opened so far and on Tuesday 11th December he’ll be in Milan for a fund-raising dinner for the same project 

«You’ve learnt the techniques, now you must find your way», said the master, ripping the notes of the pupil. 1993, Louis XV in Monte Carlo, Alain Ducasse gives a violent cut to the umbilical cord to which Massimo Bottura is attached».

This is what Gabriele Zanatta wrote in an article (available in Italian) back in 2012, when reporting on a four-handed lesson with the French master and the Italian cook at Identità New York

The anecdote is rather well-known: Bottura spent almost a year at Louis XV working for Ducasse, and when he left, the latter ripped the notebook in which Bottura had meticulously written everything he had learnt in the kitchen. Those lessons had to become a heritage of his own, something alive in his mind, not crystallised on paper: this, according to the chef from Osteria Francescana was the most important lesson received by his master of the time.

Bottura and Ducasse in 2012 at Identità New York

Bottura and Ducasse in 2012 at Identità New York

Over the following years, the two chefs remained very close and tomorrow, on Tuesday 11th December, they will be together in Milan, in Via Romagnosi 3, in the International Hub of Gastronomy of Identità Golose, for a unique dinner to raise funds for Lara Gilmore’s and Massimo Bottura’s project, Food for Soul: a non-profit organisation founded to fight food waste for the sake of social inclusion, which gave life to Refettorios in Milan (the first one, opened during Expo2015), Rio de JaneiroParisLondon, of which we’ve reported multiple times.

It was for this same project that a few days ago Massimo Bottura  received the Ambrogino d'Oro: «The greatest chef in the world – said mayor Beppe Sala during the ceremony-. He’s used food as an emblem of inclusion, thanks to the collaboration with Caritas Ambrosiana, together with whom he founded the first Refettorio». 

A photo of the dining room at Refettorio Ambrosiano

A photo of the dining room at Refettorio Ambrosiano

These are instead the words used by Bottura to explain the spirit with which Alain Ducasse and himself will be in Milan on Tuesday night: «We must raise the standards. All these guys who work in the kitchen see me as a role model: I feel responsible in this sense. I always have. So for me it is essential to show that a cook in 2018 is much more than the sum of his recipes. It’s the concept that best represents my philosophy. And I must thank Alain Ducasse, who has made himself available once again: he’s always supporting us. He has endless commitments and problems, like all of us: but when I ask for his help, he’s always there. He said: "Call me, Massimo, and I will be there". This is what happened at Refettorio Ambrosiano, during Expo, on July 14th 2015, on the anniversary of the Storming of the Bastille; then he also came to the Refettorio in Paris, and on the third day after we opened in London. He even flew to the Refettorio in Rio de Janeiro. I can only be grateful».

And while on Tuesday 11th Bottura will be with Ducasse at Identità Golose Milano for Food for Soul, on the 14th he will be in Naples for the press conference presenting Social Tables Made in Cloister, a new community project against food waste and social isolation in the heart of Naples. Every week, in the canteen inside the Cloister of Santa Caterina in Formiello, a different chef will cook for a social table – using surplus food, as always the case with Food for Soul – with forty guests sitting around the Tavoli Cenacolo made by Mimmo Paladino. The artist will be in Naples for the presentation of the project, together with Davide de Blasio, vice president of the Associazione Made in Cloister

Massimo Bottura in front of one of Mimmo Palladino’s Tavoli Cenacolo to be installed inside the Cloister of Santa Caterina for Food For Soul ‘s new Social Table in collaboration with Made in Cloister

Massimo Bottura in front of one of Mimmo Palladino’s Tavoli Cenacolo to be installed inside the Cloister of Santa Caterina for Food For Soul ‘s new Social Table in collaboration with Made in Cloister

Food for Soul is not just Refettorios: Social Tables are offered not daily, as in the case of Refettorios, but weekly, in pre-existing community spaces, where families and individuals in need are invited to sit around a social table. With the help of chefs, food producers, artists and designers. Naples will be the next location for one the Tables, after Modena and Bologna. 

These are very concrete examples with which Massimo Bottura has been materialising his goals and intentions since 2015. Everyone at Identità Golose Milano, starting from its founders Claudio Ceroni and Paolo Marchi and including all the staff, is extremely proud and honoured to host such an important and valuable event on Tuesday 11th December, supporting Food for Soul’s fund raising. There are no more places for the dinner (for which a minimum donation of 550€ was requested).

Translated into English by Slawka G. Scarso

Primo piano

The events you cannot miss and all the news of topical interest from the food planet

Niccolò Vecchia


Niccolò Vecchia

Journalist, based in Milan. At 8 years old, he received a Springsteen record as a gift, and nothing was the same since. Music and food are his passions. Author and broadcaster at Radio Popolare since 1997, since 2014 he became part of the staff of Identità Golose 
Instagram: @NiccoloVecchia

Author's articles list