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After over three years of meticulous planning, the legendary chef Massimo Bottura landed in Mumbai for a very special culinary collaboration with Masters of Marriott Bonvoy and Culinary Culture starting with a special session with some of India's leading chefs in Mumbai. Culinary Culture is a movement that brings together India’s passionate foodie community. The endeavour is to harness the community and bring the world a curated, by invite-only exclusive event, where Bottura was in a culinary conversation with Vir Sanghvi, with some of the top Indian chefs in attendance.
At the event, Bottura spoke candidly about his journey and his dream to consciously make difference to society. As an alchemist, he elevates Italian food to art by pairing its essence with painting, music, philosophy and literature. But at the forefront remains his conscience practices. The result is a sensorial experience that marries, aesthetic with ethics.
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"I am Massimo Bottura. I close my eyes and I want to understand where I am, cooking is about emotion, it’s about culture, it’s about love, it’s about memory," said Bottura, as he and Sanghvi shared anecdotes from their past experiences together.
Delighted to be in India, Bottura openly expressed his love for the country, its people, our culture and of course our irresistible Indian flavours. “While there have been many talented Italian chefs who have created great food, I don’t think anyone has ever re-invented the cuisine as brilliantly as Massimo Bottura. Wandering around Osteria Francescana, I enjoyed talking to him. I enjoyed the food. But what impressed me the most was how he had the imagination, confidence and brilliance to create a cuisine of his own: one that owed everything to Italian ingredients and yet was nothing like traditional Italian food. That’s the kind of feat that only the greatest chefs can pull off,” said Vir Sanghvi, founder Culinary Culture.
“Hosting a culinary magician like Massimo is such an honour. To be able to bring a star like him to the country reinforces Marriott’s consistent commitment to be able to provide a spectrum of experiences for our valued guests and members. The excitement and the response has been phenomenal and it is a testimony to our philosophy around Masters of Marriott Bonvoy. He is truly a ‘Master’ in the kitchen. As an organization we are thrilled to have our chefs engage with him, cook with him and learn from his brilliance. Can’t wait for him to unleash his genius over the next three days,’ said Khushnooma Kapadia, Senior Area Director of Marketing – South Asia, Marriott International.
The event had the best in the business enthralled for the entire session. The audience included celebrity chef Ranveer Brar, queen of macarons Pooja Dhingra, ace restaurateurs AD Singh and Rachel Goenka and some of the top names in the food industry.
The event was a prelude as the two-time world no.1 chef prepared for his upcoming exclusive dinners on April 15 and 16 at the St Regis Mumbai, where his three Michelin starred restaurant - Osteria Francescana from Modena, Italy presented a once-in-a-lifetime culinary experience.
Sold out within 10 minutes of its announcement, the menu included Bottura's most famous and signature dishes such as 'Oops I Dropped the Lemon Tart', an iconic dessert that was created by accident, when Osteria Francescana's chef Taka Kondo accidently dropped a lemon tart during service. Massimo improvised and asked him to drop all the tarts, so they looked alike. The dish has come to signify the poetry of imperfection and celebrates the fact that in life, mistakes happen, but we must move forward and improvise each situation.
His other dishes included 'The Crunchy Part of the Lasagne', an ode to the childhood favourite dish of the legend. Growing up, Massimo would fight off his brothers to eat only the crispy and burnt parts of the lasagne made by his grandmother. The dish debuted on the menu of Osteria Francescana in 1995 and Massimo made sure every-bite would taste of the crunchy corner piece, which for him was the tastiest part.
Massimo's passion for contemporary art influences another master piece he served - “Beautiful, psychedelic, spin-painted beet, charcoal grilled” He created this dish as a tribute to the English artist Damien Hirst’s spin-painted canvases. The beetroot is brushed with vegetable charcoal for a faux-grill effect then cooked at a low temperature to preserve essential proteins. It is dressed with creamy potatoes, puree of orange and yellow peppers, a red beet reduction and extra old Villa Manodori Artiginale balsamic vinegar from Modena. While originally prepared using veal, this dish will be specially modified for Indian diners.
“At Culinary Culture it’s our mission to bring the world’s best to india and give Indian diners a chance to eat their celebrated food, but it’s equally important for us to give Indian chefs an opportunity to engage with the worlds best," said - said Raaj Sanghvi, CEO, Culinary Culture. "Massimo Bottura is a role model to everyone around the world, he is the perfect example of how a chef can use his or her platform to bring positive changes in the world. I’m thrilled he is with us in Mumbai and it’s definitely been worth the three years it took to get him here.”
Shweta Jain, Chief Business Development Officer: Luxury, Reserve & Craft - India & South Asia at Diageo said, “Massimo Bottura is a world-renowned culinary expert whose proficiencies of reimagining dishes to leave behind an unimaginable legacy, makes him a perfect embodiment of the evergreen ‘Keep Walking’ ethos. We are ecstatic to host Massimo’s visit to India through an association with Culinary Culture and continue to celebrate luxury experiential and epicurean excellence.”
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