What does it take to be the best restaurant in the world? What extra can you offer to your customers that will make your place stand out? Can someone open an unconventional restaurant in a place where the food culture is deeply conservative?
The award for the best restaurant went to Massimo Bottura’s Osteria Francescana’s restaurant. The voting panel consisted of almost 1,000 gastronomic experts worldwide. Finally the chef got his due credit for his creativity, skill, undimmed passion and fierce determination. For the last 2 years he had been a runner up but the year 2016 got him this title.
What was stacked against him?
Italy is a place which has its own very unique food culture. Most of the food items introduced by them were not made in any other country. So trying something different in a place like this can be like walking on a double edge sword. But as we all know higher the risk, better the returns. He didn’t open a completely non-Italian restaurant but he re-invented, improved and fused different dishes in a manner like no one else can. Through this, Bottura not only drawn global plaudits and worldwide custom, but also won over his own nation’s critics.
And a few highlights:
The place offers one of the best varieties of cheese. They are specially made in-house at different temperatures, using different patterns, sometimes stored with different fruits and vegetables to see the differences in them. There’s a lot of fusion with American food items, mainly because his wife is an American. Dried mushrooms and pumpkin seeds are imported from there and stored with pickle to give them a unique taste.
The dining room:
Bottura’s creations are heavily influenced by art and music (jazz in particular), and three elegant rooms that make up the dining space are adorned with high-quality contemporary artworks. This remains very much a luxurious fine dining establishment, but re-calibrated for the current era. The good thing is the restaurant hasn’t made it a franchise model nor has it opened any other outlet. The place is small but spacious at the same time. The main aim should always be to focus on the quality of food being served.
Not only this, he has opened a non-profit organization where all the waste food is used for feeding the poor. He has set a fixed percentage of his earnings to be given to this organization. Restaurants from all over the world should take inspiration from him. Especially for a place like India where there are so many different cuisines. A lot may different dishes can be tried out, it’s a huge risk since people mostly go with the traditional dishes and chefs also don’t want to try something completely out of the box.