Chef's Table (2015–…): Season 1, Episode 1 - Massimo Bottura - full transcript

A look into the life of Massimo Bottura and his world renowned restaurant Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy.


[people clamoring]

[newscaster] Today's quake coming
just after 4:00 in the morning.

The epicenter coming
near the city of Modena,

and we can expect the worst of the damage
in that area, I think.

We're hearing of factories
in rural areas collapsing

and historic structures, like bell towers,
being brought crashing down.

[Massimo] One lunch,
we had the restaurant fully booked.

There were like
this very strong shake,

and everyone was running out
and street was going like a wave.

Was crazy moment.

After the earthquake,
the consortium Parmigiano

came to me saying,
"Massimo, you have to help us.

This is a disaster.

360,000 big wheels of Parmigiano
are damaged.

That could be the end of

half of the production
of Parmigiano-Reggiano.

And if you don't act very quick,

everyone is gonna go out of business
and we gonna lose everything."

So I went to the consortium.
I said to the president,

"I have the idea.

We're gonna do a recipe
on Riso Cacio e Pepe.

We're gonna make a risotto,

and we're going to cook the rice
using the Parmigiano."

The president was like...

"Really? Are you sure you're gonna--"

"Don't worry.
Don't worry, it's gonna be great.

We're gonna make a dinner

in which, all over the world,
everyone can cook that recipe."

I want to show everyone
what happened to Modena

and help them sell
everything they produce.

Japan, London, New York, everywhere...

they were cooking Risotto Cacio e Pepe.

40,000 people,
they were cooking Risotto Cacio e Pepe.

All 360,000 wheels were sold...

they were sold out.

No one lost a job.

No cheese maker closed the doors.

That was a recipe
as a social gesture.

[opening theme playing]

[Massimo speaking Italian]

-[man 1] That's Massimo Bottura!

-Ciao, vecchio.
-[man 2] Ciao.

-Ciao, ciao.
-[man 3] Massimo.




how are these?
These chanterelles?

The chanterelles are good.

The porcini are no good.
You have to come in the morning

to get porcini mushrooms.

Wait, what's this?

[woman] Caesar's mushrooms.
The Caesar's mushrooms are good.

[Massimo] They're a little...

There are some good ones. Look!

I'll have good ones
in the morning, Massimo.

[Massimo] Tomorrow morning,
we'll come tomorrow morning.

You could get them now,
but come a little earlier.

I'll come around 9:30, 10:00.

-Yes, when the good stuff is on display.

-Now, this morning I have...

[woman] Bye.

Have a nice day.

[Massimo] Hey there.

[man] Look, it's the maestro.

Give me, give me a...

One of the, the...

The ones in front that just came out.

Give me that one in front, how is it?

Will you split it with me?

Yes, with pleasure.

My God, it's good.

Can you send some of this to Francescana?

A mixture, half a crate of these
and half of these.

Really, really good ones.
Do you have...

These are the...


[Massimo speaking Italian]

[Faith speaking English] Massimo brings
something else to the plate besides food.

That's the goal of one of
the world's greatest restaurants.

He's arrived at his own formula for what
being a three-Michelin star is about.

For Massimo, it's about the art,
it's about the music,

it's about the place,
it's about the ingredients.

It's not just about the food.

It's about the whole concept
behind the food

that makes it into something
far more interesting.

Every time I go to the restaurant,
I'm always astounded by what I see.

All of these dishes were made
with traditional Modena ingredients,

but used in a different way
than the way a trattoria would use.

One of the most important ingredients
in his food is memory.

His memory of tasting things
and of the way things were made,

and taking those memories

and re-interpreting them
in a more modern way.

[speaking French]
He's the most important chef in Italy.

He has three Michelin stars.

In San Pellegrino's
50 Best restaurants list,

he's number three.

I hope to see him in the number one spot!

[speaking Italian] ...spoon tarts,
spaghetti with cream sauce,

lobster bisque. March!

[all] March!

[speaking English] He's a rock and roller.
He's an exciting, dynamic guy

who seems to me ready to go
24 hours a day.

Always excited about food,
excited about wine,

excited to communicate to you
what he knows about Italy.

[speaking indistinctly]

[Faith] Massimo's artistic sensibility

is unlike anything
that had ever been done before.

There is no one who's doing
what Massimo is doing.

[Raphael speaking French]
Today, he's an icon in Italy.

But when he started,
the whole of Italy was against it.

It was a type of treason.

He was considered a traitor of Italy.

[Faith speaking English] Modena,

it's a small town with a very,
very strong gastronomic tradition.

The Modenesi are
very demanding about food.

The actual country of Italy
is 150 years old.

The actual traditions are 26 centuries.

So, you have people
who have very, very deep roots.

If you ask any Italian where you can find
the greatest food in the country,

the answer is usually, "Mom."

Massimo takes a dish
that you can find at home

and brings it into a restaurant
in a different way

than it'd ever been seen before,

and that's why
in the first years of this restaurant

you never found anybody from Modena
in the dining room.

It wasn't what Mom did,
and so they were upset by that.

As a chef,

he takes what his mother made
and turns it into something divine.

[Massimo] I grew up in a very large family

with three older brothers,
one smaller sister.

But all the aunt and the grandmother,
they were living with us.

I was kind of very energetic child

and I was running around as crazy,

and my older brother, they didn't like it,
so they were chasing me.

And my safety place
was in the kitchen under the table

where my grandmother
was rolling pasta.

My grandmother was defending me
with the wood, the matterello,

as we call matterello to roll pasta,

from my older brothers,
"Get out of here!

Leave him alone.
He's the youngest one."

So, from under the table,

I was looking at the world
in a different perspective.

The flour was falling from the table

and I was on my knees,

and in that moment,

I was stealing from under the table
the tortellini.

So when they ask me,
"What is the plate of your life?"

It's a tortellino,
but it's a raw tortellino,

because that's the moment
in which I was stealing the raw tortellino

just made one second before
from the hand of my grandmother.

That's why food
is so important for me

because in many different creation I do,

you can find that I'm trying
to take you, in that moment,

back to where you were a child.

[speaking Italian]
Can I drive the tractor?

[all laughing]

No, come on!
I'm telling you.

[speaking English]
Max, can I drive the tractor?

[Massimo speaking Italian]
No, because it must be extraordinary.


He's serious.
He wants to drive the tractor.

[Massimo] No, no,
I don't want to cause trouble.

Does he have a tractor license?

[man] No, a wagon license.

[Lara] Yes, yes.

[tractor engine starting]


[speaking English] Massimo is someone
you kind of have to chase.

He's always ten steps ahead of you.

He's running down the street,
and you're in his shadow.

Everything that comes to his mind gets
thrown out there on the table immediately.

There's no editing.

There's no being
cautious about his ideas.

Massimo's volcanic in that way.

My role, and it's very fun
and it's very entertaining,

is always kind of
catching up with Massimo to be a witness.

If I don't write down, take note,
decode what the recipe is about,

and find a way to make
that accessible to other people,

nobody's going to.

One of the things
that I love about him

is that he's always creating
without even touching one ingredient.

We'll have been at the movies,

and we'll walk out of the movies
and I'll say,

"So, what'd you think about the film?"

And he'll say, "I don't know, I just...
I wasn't really paying attention.

I was thinking about a way of making...

mozzarella invisible,

and if you could drink that

and have all the flavor
of tomato and mozzarella,

how cool would that be?"

And I would think,
"God, he really didn't watch the movie."

[indistinct conversations]

[Massimo] Lara is so important
for what we do.

She'll look at the things from distance

so she sees everything very clear.

When you have a relation,
you speak the same language.

If you speak the same language,
you can share a dialog.

We share the language of creativity

and the language of dreams.


[speaking Italian]

[speaking Italian]
Ciao, ciao, ciao.

1998, when his father, Umberto,

came to eat in Osteria Francescana,

at the end of the meal, he said,

"This is very good,

but you should start thinking
about the aging process.

The aging process is Modena.

The whole area is about slow,
slow passing of time."

[Matteo] There is no shortcut for
producing Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese,

and this is the reason
that we not taste the cheese,

but we listen, okay?

The sound for us is like

to have an X-ray machine
and to see what you have inside.

-No, it's no good.
-Okay. [laughing]

-[speaking Italian]

It's perfect.

[Matteo speaking Italian]
Okay, Carlo, let's open it.

[speaking English] The smell is amazing.
The smell is amazing.

But every time I open
a cheese like this,

I get emotion, you know.

It's unbelievable.

When I say, in my blood
there is balsamic vinegar,

and my muscles
are made by Parmigiano...

it is true.
It is true.


[Massimo speaking Italian]
Who wants to taste?

[Matteo chuckles]

Dear God!



Here, taste some.

[speaking English] Parmigiano is...

The taste of Parmigiano
is the perfect umami,

the perfect balance between
sweet, savory, acidic and bitterness.

You don't feel anything,
but there's everything there,

so your palate is like,
"Wow! Can I have some more, please?"

If you buy the best ingredients,

you have to help the ingredients
to express themself.

[Faith] Massimo knows
Parmigiano intimately.

This is a guy who has respect

for not only the cheese,
but for the crust.

That's so typical of what he's about,
because he's about

using all of the ingredient
to its greatest advantage.

One of the first dishes that I ever had
at Osteria Francescana was

Five Ages of Parmigiano.

This is a dish that shows
the maximum respect

for an ingredient of this area.

You're seeing somebody who is taking

five completely different
ages of Parmigiano

and puts them on the same plate
but treats each one individually,

showing you that it's not just one thing,
it could be five different things.

You learn something
about an ingredient

and you learn something
about Massimo from that dish.

[Massimo speaking Italian]

[Lidia] Should I finish this dough?

No, look, look.

-[Lidia] I'll see if it's okay.
-It's good, isn't it?

[man] No, it's a little thick.

[Lidia] A little more.


[man speaking Italian]
Lidia, see if this one feels right.

[Massimo] No.

[speaking Italian] It's still,
it's still... yes, a little thick.

[Massimo] Now,
check if the dough is all right.

[man] You want to move this there?

Yes, there is good.

Okay, roll it a little more.

It's a little uneven.

[man] You have to straighten it out.

[Lidia] You know anyone can make it round?

When you do it this way,
it doesn't come out as good.

[indistinct conversations]

[Massimo speaking Italian]

[speaking English] When I start
my first restaurant, Campazzo,

I was younger,
I had just left from university.

[scoffs] I wasn't ready.

In the first three, four months,
I lost so much weight,

because I was so stressed out.

One day, a woman knock at the door.

Knock, knock.
"Permesso, permesso."

That lady is Lidia,

and Lidia was like an angel
that was coming down from the sky.

She said,
"If you need some help,

I live on the other side of the street,

so I can help you,
and I have a lot of experience.

My only problem is my eyes.

I don't see very well.
That's why I'm home right now."

She was talking and talking
and explaining

and like a classic mama Modenese,

"Blah-blah-blah, blah-blah-blah."

I said, "Lidia, I'm sorry.
Why you keep talking?

If you wanna show me
and you want this job,

put this apron on
and show me what you can do."

And she did.

Lidia was the one
who teach me traditional plates.

She was helping me
making and rolling pasta.

The most important lesson, she said,

"Half an hour before the service,

everybody have to stop to sit down
and have a proper meal."

She gave a sense of family.

People felt that,
and was the most important thing.

[speaking Italian]
Who's going to start singing?

[man] Who's singing?

[Massimo] Well, the tradition is...

-[man interrupting]
-No, when you come the first...

When you make tortellini for the first
time, you have to sing a song.

Right, Lidia?

[Lidia] I'll sing now.

♪ That little bouquet of flowers ♪

[all singing along]
♪ That come from the mountains ♪

♪ I want to give it to my sweetheart
when he comes tonight ♪

[all cheering in Italian]

Brava, Lidia!

[speaking English] After a couple
of years, Campazzo was successful,

so I said, "Lidia, I'm gonna leave

and I'm gonna spend time
living in New York, away from Campazzo,"

and I left.

One day, I was walking in Soho
and I wanted to get a great coffee.

So I saw this restaurant.
I walk in to have an espresso.

I had to wait 20 minutes.

So I said,
"Mmm, maybe they have some problems."

And so I said,

"If you need some help,
I can help you."

I went back home.
The owner left a message,

"Uh, Massimo, please,

if you can come tomorrow
for the shift 2:00 to closing time,

would be great."

[Lara] I was in New York,
living in the East Village,

and one day I stopped at this little café
called Caffé di Nonna.

I had an interview with the owner

and told him that I spoke Italian
and knew how to make a cappuccino.

By the time I got back to
my apartment in the East Village,

I had a message
on my answering machine

that said, "Could you please
come in tomorrow and do a trial shift?"

So we both walk in
in the same schedule

from 2:00 to closing time.

We literally walked in the door
at the same time.

I remember Massimo says to me...

We walk in the door and I said,

"Oh, hi, I'm just starting today,
and my name's Lara."

And he looked at me and said,
"Hi, I'm Massimo. I'm an Italian chef."

-Really? I can't believe...
-And he used that...

-"I'm an Italian chef."
-[mockingly] "I'm an Italian chef."

[Lara] Caffé di Nonna
was a one-room restaurant,

and there was this beautiful walnut bar,
very long bar,

which I was behind
making the cappuccinos

and I had the wine
and the drinks and the whole thing.

Massimo was behind this open kitchen
diagonal from me,

and I sort of got to watch the kitchen.

He had lots of hair back then,
lots of curly hair.

And he had this kind of
turn-of-the-century, 1890s look going

with these vests and men's jackets

and then jeans
and kind of motorcycle boots going on.

So he was a very cool dude.

I had never encountered
that kind of stylish, Italian guy.

I had never really had
any interaction with a chef before.

And so, there he was, this chef,

and he was doing, you know...

He was being funny.

[speaking Italian]

[Lara speaking English]
The first dish, the first thing

that I ever ate that Massimo made...

this velvet artichoke soup was so...

simple and so direct in the flavor.

It went right for the heart.

That was the thing that won me over.

And then, out of the blue...

Out of the blue as it... yeah.
I received a phone call.

I need to go back to reality

because I left the restaurant,
left everything down there.

-I had to go back to Modena.
-[church bell tolling]

As soon as I went back,
I realized I need to talk to Lara.

I was missing her so much.

[Lara] We didn't have
cell phones back then,

so I started sending faxes
to Massimo.

Little drawings about
what was going on in New York,

and every once in a while,
I'd get a call from Massimo

of what was going on
and what was happening,

and finally, I got a fax,
"When are you coming to Modena?"

And I thought, "You know...

maybe I should go."

I hadn't worked out
any of the details in my mind.

I was just there.

Obviously, you know,
desperately in love with this guy.

After about a week
that I was in Modena,

Massimo got this crazy call
from Alain Ducasse.

Massimo was like,
"Oh, my God! Alain Ducasse!"

It was end of 1993.

Everyone was talking
about the big, famous chef.

Ducasse said, "Would you like
to come to Hotel de Paris?

It would be an honor
for us to have you there

to teach my staff how to make
homemade pasta,

how to make tortellini."

That was a very, very
incredible opportunity.

[Lara] Massimo was over the moon.

But his main objective
before leaving was,

"I have to sell
Trattoria del Campazzo."

Me, on the other hand,
I had just arrived.

Ten days had gone by

and all of a sudden,
Massimo's world was being turned around,

and he was leaving.

We had one of those long,
horrible conversations.

I wanted to know,
"Should I stay or should I go?"

And he said,

"Lara, I've dated a girl
for so many years before I met you,

and how can I
make a choice like this now?"

And I thought, "Oh...

That's great. That sucks."

So, he sold Campazzo and he left.

I looked around and said,
"You've got to get on with your life."

So, I got a flight back to New York.

[people talking indistinctly]

[all laughing]


[Massimo] One day, me and Taka,
my sous-chef,

were serving the last two lemon tart.

Taka, suddenly,
he dropped one of the two tart,

and we were ready to serve.

[speaking Italian]
I wanted to run from the kitchen.

[Massimo speaking English] And that tart
was on the counter, in the middle,

between the plate and the counter.

Half was there on the counter
and half was there in the plate.

Taka was just like that.

He was...

He was white as the most...

[stammering] He was...
He wants to kill himself.

[speaking Italian] I wanted to, you know,
hara kiri, go like that.

[Massimo speaking English]
I said, "Taka, stop, stop.

Look through my fingers.

That is beautiful.

Let's re-build
as it's a broken stuff."

Immediately, he didn't understand,

but he trusts me so much
and he said, "Okay, let's try."

So, we get the lemon sabayon
and we spread it on the plate.

We just... Like this, like...

And then we rebuild on the other plate
with all this single precision

to make them feel
we did that for purpose.

That was the moment in which we create

Oops! I Dropped the Lemon Tart.

[Takahiko speaking Italian]
That day I learned something.

That in life, to move forward...

you learn from mistakes.

Maybe I did something wrong,
but you learn from it.

[Massimo speaking English]
When I was in Monte Carlo,

I realized the mistakes I made with Lara.

I had to go, to be there.

He said, "Chef Ducasse,
I have things I have to take care of.

I have some personal business

and it's been a great experience,
but I need to go."

Massimo flew straight to New York and...

he just showed up.

He said, "I surrender. This is it.

Let's make this our life.

Where do you want...
You want to be in New York, Lara?

Do you wanna go back to Modena?

Do you wanna open a restaurant?

Do you wanna spend
the rest of your life with me?"

I caved in pretty quickly,

and we decided to go back to Modena
and look for a restaurant.

[Massimo] By chance,
we found Osteria Francescana,

but we didn't have the money to do it.

I sold everything, you know.

And we put everything in this small space.

After all the time with Ducasse,
I felt I need to do something different.

[Lara] For Massimo, "Yeah, okay,

once I learned how to make those recipes
and they were delicious,

and people came to my restaurant,
Trattoria del Campazzo,

now that was too easy,
so we've gotta challenge it."

It was so important to me
to learn, to evolve.

So I decide to create a new cuisine

out of the classic,
traditional food of Modena.

[Lara] People don't want
the Italian kitchen to change

because it's so delicious,
because there is this element of comfort.

And so, all of a sudden,

you've opened a window
for something unexpected to happen.

[Massimo] The day I was open
Osteria Francescana,

19th of March, 1995,

Lara left for U.S.
because her dad was...

He had an operation.

We were ready to open,
and I was missing her.

So, I call Lara.

So he called me, and of course,
back then we didn't have kids,

so 8:00 in the morning was early,

and I come to the phone
and hadn't had my coffee

and Massimo says, "So, we're opening
the restaurant this afternoon,

and I just wanted to...

make sure that it was clear.

We're getting married, right?"

And I thought,
"Who is this guy?

He's asking me to marry him
over the phone?

Who does that?"

I didn't hear anything, except for...

"Let me have my coffee before
and then I'm gonna call you back. Bye."

[imitates hanging up phone]


That was crazy.
That was crazy.

Yeah, but that was the reality.

And then she called me back.
She said, "Okay."



The day that Lara decided
to come with us...

something changed, because Massimo
was free to open his mind.

[Faith] One of the things
that's so great about Lara is

she took Massimo out of
provincial Modena

and showed him a world,

showed him art,
showed him other aspects of life

that if he was just here in Modena,
he wouldn't have understood.

I think that Lara
is the most important part

of the success of
the Osteria Francescana.

[Lara] Once I met Massimo and we became
friends and started hanging out,

I would say, on a Saturday,

"Hey, do you wanna go
see some galleries with me?"

And he said,
"What do you mean, 'go see galleries'?

What are we gonna do?"

I would take him to see
a Richter show

and he would look at these paintings

and he had no context for
what they were or what they meant,

and often times,
he would leave saying,

"Well, I could do that.
What is that about?"

I wanted to bring him into this world

because I thought that
there might be something

that he found interesting and liked

and something that we could
actually have in common.

It was 1997,
we were at the Venice Biennial.

Walked into the Italian pavilion

where you have
all these great Italian artists,

but mostly from an older generation...

and in the rafters, there are
all these taxidermy stuffed pigeons,

and Massimo says,
"What are these pigeons doing here?"

And we looked closer and I said,

"Actually, that's an artist who made
that installation of the pigeons."

And the closer we looked,

you could see that
he had also painted them,

literally, pooping on the walls
and on some of the other artists' artwork.

Massimo was like,

"That is genius!

That guy is amazing!

Those pigeons, that's like me.

I'm trying to change the Italian kitchen,

but the only way I'm going to get noticed
is if I kind of go up in the rafters

and look from above and,
in a way,

deface the generation that came before me.

Only with that kind of sensationalism
and that kind of provocative attitude

am I gonna be able to break through

and open up the doors for another
generation of Italian kitchen."

So, he felt part pigeon
in his own defiance

and his own wanting to break through
and do something different.

He said, "I'm gonna be that pigeon.
I'm gonna be up there.

I'm gonna be
going against the grain

and swimming up the Po river
and going against the current."

That's when art started to have
real value for him.

The artwork, over the years,

somehow kind of made its way
through the back door into the kitchen

and really had a great influence
on the way he thought through the recipes.

[Massimo] When we open Francescana,

I would start serving tortellini in broth,
the classic.

But people, they were eating
that tortellino just like this,

"I'm eating tortellini.

Yeah, I can go to the Trattoria
or to Osteria, whatever,

and I'm eating tortellini."

So I said, "Why don't we serve
something very provocative?"

I serve tortellini
only with six tortellini in one line.

They were walking into the broth.

Can you imagine what the locals,
they were thinking about us?

They want me dead.

You know, "You cannot mess
with Grandmother recipe!"

[Faith] True tortellino
is ten to a spoonful.

He wasn't even giving them
a spoonful of food.

But at the same time, he was saying,
"Here are six tortellini.

You have to respect each one."

[Massimo] They didn't understand
what I was doing.

If you eat a tortellino,
most of the time,

you lose yourself
in the process of eating.

With this dish, I was saying

that tradition, most of the time,
doesn't respect the ingredients.

At one point,
the rumors of the six tortellini,

they spread in Modena.

The most important local critic

came to our...

...our Francescana,

and he was asking for that plate.

The day after, on the local newspaper,

was the photograph of me
presenting this plate that was like,

"But can you believe he was serving
six tortellini with this gelatin?"

It was like the most horrible,
horrible description.

I was like,
"Okay, you like provocation

and you'll respond like that,

I'm gonna make your life worse."

I started thinking about...

that could be very interesting,
to rebuild a lasagna.

Create a lasagna without the dough,
without the pasta.

That kind of crunchiness
and flavor and burning,

it's the best part of the lasagna,

the surface of lasagna.

My idea is to serve this

and make everyone who comes
to taste that corner,

to live the experience of me,
my brothers,

every single child in Emilia-Romagna
that loves that corner.

The best corner of a pan of lasagna.

So they tried to

kill the name of Osteria Francescana,

because, I think...

I was poisoning ideas,

I was poisoning the new generation,

I was poisoning the Grandmother recipes.

[Lara] What he was looking for,
more than anything,

was to initiate a dialog

and that was met
with a lot of resistance.

The first five, six years
was really, really, really tough.

Massimo's customers
from Trattoria del Campazzo

came to Osteria Francescana,

but no one really wanted
the plates that Massimo was serving.

In a town like Modena,
people weren't ready

and people didn't necessarily want
that kind of kitchen.

That interaction created a lot of energy.

The friction, complaining,

or even asking questions,
or leaving the restaurant and laughing,

"Oh, Bottura, look what he's doing,"

it was actually the fuel that he needed

to keep going deeper
into the Italian kitchen.

The idea that their recipes,

meaning traditional
Emilian and Modenese recipes,

could be different than the ones
they had eaten at home was threatening.

We were struggling,
were really struggling.

I was ready to close the restaurant
because it was totally empty.

[Lara] He had got this really bad
restaurant review

from one of the most important
restaurant magazines

called Gambero Rosso,

and they came out
with this scathing review that said,

"If you don't look
at the ugly red Ferrari painting,

the decor is acceptable.

But if we start talking about the food..."

And, "Massimo was too overeager
in trying to be original at every cost,"

and, "There is no soul in this food,"
and, "Where was the Italian kitchen?"

Massimo came back
with his head in his hands and said,

"Do you think that we really
should keep doing this?

They're not interested
in eating this kind of food."

It wasn't like closing that restaurant
was going to close down

his desire to bring the Italian kitchen
into the 21st century.

If he left at that moment...

he would be surrendering,

and surrendering a battle
that would continue within him.

Lara, she was the one
who pushed me to stay.

"Just one more year,
then you can leave."

She saw the beauty of the ideas
before everyone else.

She said, "Massimo, if you leave now,

you're gonna regret
for the rest of your life."

One night in April, 2001,

the most important food critic in Italy

was driving from Milan to Florence,

and there was an accident in Bologna,
so there was a very long line.

He decided to stop in Modena.

He detour and he had dinner in Osteria.

Two days later,
most important magazine, Espresso,

came out this article.

"Tagliatella postmodern."

He was writing
about how sorry he was

not to be in my restaurant before,

and how sorry for the Modenese,

they didn't understand
that kind of tagliatella.

That article opened
the whole scene of gastronomic critics.

[Lara] Word was going out

and those under-the-radar
gastronomy journalists from Italy,

the better journalists
were coming and saying,

"Hey, something's going on here."

They started seeing in Massimo

something that they
hadn't seen for a while in Italy,

which was someone
who was willing to take risks.

It really meant,

"We're going to accept what you're doing,
Massimo Bottura."

It was a message to the Italian community,

Modena, Parma, Bologna, Milan,

these concentric circles
moving outward,

that there was something
happening here.

[Massimo] In November,
we got the prize

as the best performance
from Espresso Guide.

The prize as Best Chef,
Young Chef in Italy,

and the first star Michelin.

The food world woke up to
the importance of what he was doing.

That's the moment when his rating
in the 50 Best went way up.

Now, the restaurant is full all the time.

The Modenesi are also back with him,
if they can get in.

[Lara] Do you remember this? [gasps]
[Massimo] But this... Yes.

Oh, my gosh!

Look at this picture.

That's cool.

-Look at this one.
-I'm getting old.

-I took those pictures.

[Lara] No, that was you.
[Massimo] That was me.

That's crazy. Look at this.

With the Kangol hat.
I know, you were cool.

Come on, Lara.

-[Lara scoffing]
-Oh, my God.

Lara, she understand me so well,

and she's maybe
the only person in the world,

she can make me change
perspective of the things.

With Lara, I became
a better person, you know...


and, uh, you know,
she opened doors.

[Lara] Years later, looking back on it,

asking me to marry him on the same day
we opened the restaurant

was his subtle way of saying,
"Are you ready to marry a restaurant?"


Yes, the chef comes with it,
the husband comes with it,

the family comes with it,
but basically, I married a restaurant.


So the restaurant to me
has never been this...

something that took
my husband away from me.

The restaurant has always been our family,

and a big family.

My kids grew up
celebrating their birthdays

with big birthday parties
in Osteria Francescana.

We opened the restaurant in 1995

and Alexa was born
a year and a half after that,

so she grew up
hiding under the restaurant tables.

The way Massimo tells stories about
growing up under his kitchen table,

there was Alexa growing up
under the restaurant tables

and running into the kitchen, asking,
"So, is there anything new on the menu?"

And maybe she was three years old.

And my son, Charlie,
has this sense of love in the restaurant

where there are lots of people around

who care about him
and want him to have fun.

I love that, the fact that
the restaurant was our home,

and we lived just down the street,

and when it was closing time,
we were there, and between services,

and I was constantly trying to fix things
and make the paintings straight

and put some flowers in a vase and...

You know, it's our baby.

[Massimo] If you have success,
if you are...

If you live
an incredible moment of happiness,

the happiness is much,
much more deep and big

if you share with others,

and you get to the point together,

is like the happiness
and the feeling is exploding.

It's double.

This is the point.

[closing theme playing]