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Massimo Bottura’s Gucci Osteria

When did Massimo Bottura become such a fashionista? The answer: when he started working with Gucci.

IF YOU FOLLOW Bottura on social media, you’ll notice the Chef’s Table star—the man behind the three-Michelin-starred Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy, and the anti-food-waste operation Food for Soul—wears a lot of Gucci: sweaters, bags, even fur-lined loafers. Bottura has been friends with its CEO Marco Bizzarri since high school. The two decided on a joint venture, and in January they opened the Gucci Osteria da Massimo Bottura in Florence.

Karime Lopez Kondo, a Mexican chef known for her work at Central in Lima, is in charge of the Florence establishment, which is nothing like Bottura’s Modena restaurant, with its long tasting menus and minimalistic decor. In Florence the decor is colourful, with green walls and yellow tiles. The menu showcases Bottura’s affection for classic Italiana (tortellini with Parmigiano-Reggiano, cacio e pepe) as well as world flavours (Peruvian tostadas, American hotdogs, Asian pork-belly buns). More ambitious dishes feature Bottura’s signature fun with elaborate names like “Marseilles and Naples are not so far” a bouillabaisse with mixed pasta. The food is less expensive, but not exactly cheap (the Emilia burger costs €30). Bottura wants to provide an alternative to Florence’s boring tourist food.

“We have created a menu that reflects Florence’s history of hosting travellers from around the world,” he said. “There are dishes that have been contaminated, in a wise way, from Asia, North and South America and Europe. There is also the unexpected. Guests should feel that butterflies could come off the wallpaper and fly around the room, even in the dead of winter.”

—MARIE-CLAUDE LORTIE

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