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At the Chef's Table:Massimo Bottura Part 1

At the Chef's Table:Massimo Bottura Part 1



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The Osteria Francescana chef discusses his childhood influences

Ali Rosen

At the Chef's Table with Massimo Bottura

In our series "At the Chef's Table," we take a look at the careers of some of the greatest chefs in the business. In this month’s installment we are profiling Massimo Bottura, the Modena, Italy-based chef whose restaurant Osteria Francescana has gained international acclaim — including the title of fifth best restaurant in the world on San Pellegrino's World's 50 Best Restaurants list. On top of that, The Daily Meal named Bottura its International Chef of the Year for 2012. We sat down with the chef in New York at Eataly's Birreria.

In part one of our series we discuss his childhood years watching his mother and grandmother, who were avid cooks. He remembered hiding under the table while his grandmother made pasta and his mother’s constant meals. "I grew up in a really big family, a very large family, and my mom was a great cook," he said. "She was cooking all day for like 15, 20 people and she was changing all the time — I remember Wednesday and Friday when she was cooking fish and the big lunch on Sunday. That’s Italy, you know?"

For more from Bottura, including how his family’s cooking influences his restaurant today, watch the video above! And look out for part two coming next Monday!


PHILIPPINES FOOD RECIPES

1. Adobo
No list of Filipino food would be complete without adobo.
A ubiquitous dish in every household in the Philippines, it's Mexican in origin.
But Filipinos found that cooking meat (often chicken and pork) in vinegar, salt, garlic, pepper, soy sauce and other spices was a practical way to preserve it without refrigeration.
This cooking style can be applied to different meats or even seafood.
It's best sample it in a Filipino home, but the garlicky version of the lamb adobo can be found at Abe restaurant in Taguig.
Abe Serendra | Serendra Plaza Serendra Plaza, Taguig City, Luzon Philippines
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Based on 269 reviews
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2. Lechon
The lechon is the most invited party guest in the Philippines.
The entire pig is spit-roasted over coals, with the crisp, golden-brown skin served with liver sauce, the most coveted part.
In Cebu, the stomach of the pig is stuffed with star anise, pepper, spring onions, laurel leaves and lemongrass resulting in an extremely tasty lechon, which needs no sauce.
In Manila, folks can get their piggy from Elar's Lechon, while in Cebu, the best is CnT Lechon.
Elar's Lechon | 151 Quezon Avenue Corner Speaker Perez Street, Quezon City, Luzon 1114 Philippines
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CnT Lechon | 1377 V. Rama Avenue Guadalupe, Cebu City 6000 Philippines
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Based on 159 reviews
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Nothing goes to waste in Filipino food.
In the culinary capital of Pampanga, they turn the pork's cheeks, head and liver into a sizzling dish called Sisig.
The crunchy and chewy texture of this appetizer is a perfect match for a cold beer.
Serve with hot sauce and Knorr seasoning to suit the preference of you and your buddies.
Credit goes to Aling Lucing, who invented this dish at a humble stall along the train railways in Angeles City, Pampanga.
While Sisig can be found in many restaurants, try the original version at Aling Lucing Sisig.
Aling Lucing Sisig | Adjacent to Abacan Bridge Henson Street, Angeles City, Luzon Philippines
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Part 3: A meal inspired by memories
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Part 3: Lisbon's biggest party of the year
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Part 1: Norway's only three-Michelin-starred chef
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Chef Edward Kwon Part 2: The dish fit for a Korean king
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Chef Edward Kwon Part 3: Bibimbap with a twist
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Chef Kevin Gillespie Part 2: Barbecue secrets from Buenos Aires
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Chef Kevin Gillespie Part 3: How do you cook the perfect Argentine steak?
spc culinary journeys gaggan anand a_00022108.jpg
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spc culinary journeys gaggan anand b_00034803.jpg
Chef Gaggan Anand Part 2: Indian chef looks for 'heaven on earth' recipe
spc culinary journeys gaggan anand c_00081010.jpg
Chef Gaggan Anand Part 3: Applying a modern twist to a traditional Bengali dish
spc culinary journeys vicky lau a_00063226.jpg
Chef Vicky Lau Part 1: China's "edible stories"
spc culinary journeys vicky lau b_00044714.jpg
Chef Vicky Lau Part 2: The secrets of Dragon Well tea
spc culinary journeys vicky lau c_00070325.jpg
Chef Vicky Lau Part 3: Shrimp tea fit for an emperor
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Chef Dominique Crenn Part 2: Cooking Mamitako at one of Spain's top restaurants

Chef Dominique Crenn Part 3: French chef brings Basque favorite to the U.S.
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Chef Massimo Bottura Part 1: Kitchen secrets of Italy's best restaurant
spc culinary journeys massimo bottura b_00025313.jpg
Chef Massimo Bottura Part 2: Who is London's 'Godfather of Meat'?
spc culinary journeys massimo bottura c_00054213.jpg
Chef Massimo Bottura Part 3: Putting a British twist on an Italian classic
spc culinary journeys tokyo shinobu namae a_00000205.jpg
Part 1: The art of Japanese hospitality
spc culinary journeys tokyo shinobu namae b_00034329.jpg
Part 2: Kyoto's culinary traditions
spc culinary journeys tokyo shinobu namae c_00033017.jpg
Part 3: A meal inspired by memories
spc culinary journeys new york michael white a_00030628.jpg
Part 1: Uncovering New York's food secrets
spc culinary journeys new york michael white b_00024029.jpg
Part 2: Midnight at the meat market
spc culinary journeys new york michael white c_00015220.jpg
Part 3: The ultimate 4th of July feast
spc culinary journeys jose avillez portugal a_00023229.jpg
Part 1: The chef at the pinnacle of Portuguese cuisine
spc culinary journeys jose avillez portugal b_00021413.jpg
Part 2: Getting to grips with Portugal's finest seafood
spc culinary journeys jose avillez portugal c_00034912.jpg
Part 3: Lisbon's biggest party of the year
spc culinary journeys esben holmboe bang norway a_00021025.jpg
Part 1: Norway's only three-Michelin-starred chef
spc culinary journeys esben holmboe bang norway b_00023002.jpg
Part 2: In search of the Great Scallop
spc culinary journeys esben holmboe bang norway c_00025918.jpg
Part 3: A celebration of Nordic hospitality
spc culinary journeys philippines a_00051213.jpg
Part 1: Margarita Fores, Asia's best female chef
spc culinary journeys philippines b_00015911.jpg
Part 2: The secret to incredible Filipino desserts
spc culinary journeys philippines c_00015912.jpg
Part 3: Filipino hospitality: 'Forever smiling'
spc culinary journeys rene redzepi a_00030716.jpg
Part 1: The king of Nordic Cuisine
spac culinary journeys rene redzepi b_00021517.jpg
Part 2: Head to the home of baklava
spc culinary journeys rene redzepi c_00021419.jpg
Part 3: Redzepi's twist on a classic
spc culinary journeys virgilio martinez a_00021923.jpg
Part 1: Meet the chef taking Peruvian to new heights
spc culinary journeys virgilio martinez b_00030125.jpg
Part 2: Discover an ancient recipe of the Incas
spc culinary journeys virgilio martinez c_00022001.jpg
Part 3: Reinventing the humble potato
4. Crispy pata
Not for the easily spooked, this pork knuckle is simmered, drained and deep fried until crisp.
The meat is tender and juicy inside, with a crisp, crackling exterior.
Served with vinegar, soy sauce and chili.
The Aristocrat | 432 San Andres Street corner Roxas Boulevard, Malate, Manila, Luzon Philippines
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Based on 703 reviews
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5. Chicken inasal
Yes, it's grilled chicken.
But in Bacolod, this is no ordinary grilled chicken.
The meat is marinated in lemongrass, calamansi, salt, pepper and garlic and brushed with achuete (annatto seeds) oil.
Every part of the chicken is grilled here from the paa (drumstick), pecho (breast), baticulon (gizzard), atay (liver), pakpak (wings) and corazon (heart).
It must be eaten with a generous serving of garlic rice, with some of the orange oil used to marinade the chicken poured over the rice.
You can go chicken crazy at Manokan Country where there is a row of authentic Inasal restaurants.
Aida's Chicken | Father M. Ferrero Street Manokan Country, Bacolod, Negros Occidental Philippines
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MORE: How to cook like Asia's best female chef
6. Taba ng talangka
The fat of a small variety of crabs are pressed and sauteed in garlic.
This cholesterol-laden Filipino food is often used as a sauce for prawns or eaten with fried fish and rice.
The best taba ng talangka comes from the provinces of Pampanga, Tarlac and Bulacan.
It's worth buying a bottle or two from the markets there, or pasalubong shops like Bulacan Sweets.
Bulacan Sweets, 155 N.S. Amoranto Ave., Quezon City, Metro Manila +63 2 740 2171
7. Pancit Palabok
When Filipinos have guests, they don't skimp.
The pancit palabok served on most birthday parties oozes with flavors and textures.
The noodle dish is layered with rice noodles, a rich orange sauce made from shrimp broth, pork, hard boiled eggs, shrimps, chicharon (pork rinds) and sometimes oysters and squid
8. Bulalo
Despite the perennial heat, Filipinos often enjoy sipping piping hot bulalo soup made with from freshly slaughtered Batangas beef.
The broth is rich with flavors seeped from the beef after boiling for hours.
The bones are big, meaning more bone marrow to enjoy.
In Santo Tomas, Batangas, there's a row of restaurants along the highway serving bulalo.
Rose and Grace Restaurant | Maharlika Highway Batangas, Santo Tomas, Luzon 4324 Philippines
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While chicken soup soothes sick Westerners, Filipinos turn to arroz caldo, a thick chicken rice porridge.
Cooked with ginger and sometimes garnished with a hard-boiled egg, toasted garlic and green onions, this Filipino food is sold in street-side stalls.
If dining al fresco doesn't suit, there's the Via Mare outlets around Manila.
MORE: World's best food festivals for serious foodies
10. Fish tinola
The freshness of Cebu's rich marine life can be tasted in its fish tinola.
The simple sour broth is flavored with onions, tomatoes and sambag (tamarind) and cooked over coco-lumber firewood for hours.
Cebuanos know to go to A-One, a small hole in the wall known, cooking up to 200 kilos of fish daily.
A-One, Rd. North 6, North Reclamation, Cebu City
11. Kare-kare
This stew of oxtail has the most delicious sauce made from ground toasted rice and crushed peanuts.
Banana blossom, eggplants and string beans add more interesting textures, making it a complete meal on its own.
It's eaten with steamed rice and bagoong (shrimp paste).
While mom's kare-kare is always best, the version at Cafe Juanita is authentic.
Cafe Juanita | 2 United St Kapitolyo, Pasig, Luzon Philippines
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12. Kamaro
Serious gourmands know the best cooks come from Pampanga.
So do kamaro, these mole crickets they cook into a delicious appetizer.
What makes this delicacy special?
Well, if catching these bugs is tough, so is cooking them.
Legs and wings must be removed, then the body is boiled in vinegar and garlic.
It's then sautéed in oil, onion and chopped tomatoes until they turn chocolate brown.
These bite-size appetizers are crunchy on the outside and moist on the inside.
Sample Kamaru at Everybody's Cafe, an authentic Pampango dining institution for many decades now.
Everybody's Cafe | MacArthur Highway Dau, San Fernando, Luzon Philippines
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13. Ilocos empanada
Yes, its name reveals its Spanish origins.
But its ingredients are all local.
Grated unripe papaya or bean sprouts, egg and loganiza (pork sausage) are stuffed in the empanada and deep fried, accompanied with a spicy vinegar sauce.
Get this staple Filipino food from stalls beside the cathedrals in Vigan and Laoag.
14. Sinigang
Sinigang is a stew of fish, prawns, pork or beef soured by fruits like tamarind, kamias or tomatoes.
Often accompanied by vegetables like kangkong, string beans and taro, this stew is eaten with rice.
A modern, but delicious spin on Sinigang is Sentro 1771's version called Sinigang Corned Beef.
Sentro 1771 | 2/F Greenbelt 3, Makati, Luzon Philippines
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Based on 160 reviews
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15. Tapa
Filipinos are huge rice eaters, and breakfast is no exception.
A tap-si-log consists of thin slices of dried marinated beef served with fried egg and garlic rice.
While it is breakfast fare, it's also a quick, satisfying meal you can eat anytime and available in most places.
Making it accessible all the time and even available for deliveries, Tapa King serves it in the classic, sweetish and spicy versions.
Tapa king | #13 Ano 96 Street, Brgy. Hagdang Bato, Libis Mandaluyong City 1552, Manila, Luzon Philippines
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16. Dinuguan at puto
It may not look appetizing.
But this black dish of pork and pig innards -- stewed in fresh pig blood seasoned with garlic, onion and oregano and eaten with a white puto (rice cake) or steamed rice -- is a comforting dish for many Filipinos.
The MilkyWay Cafe's version tastes homemade and clean.
MilkyWay Cafe | 2/F MilkyWay Bldg, 900 Arnaiz Ave (Pasay Road corner Paseo de Roxas, Makati, Luzon 1200 Philippines
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17. Betute
The French may have turned frogs' legs into a delicacy, but Filipinos take it to the next level.
They get a frog, stuff it with minced pork and deep-fry it.
While betute isn't for everyone, the adventurous can try it at Everybody's Cafe.
Everybody's Cafe | MacArthur Highway Dau, San Fernando, Luzon Philippines
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This dish of taro leaves cooked in rich coconut milk is an everyday staple in Bicol.
Morsels of meat and chili are added to give punch to the Laing.
It's eaten with steamed rice.
The authentic versions from kitchens in Naga and Albay are most delicious.
In Manila, it can be found at Dencio's.
Dencio's Bar and Grill | Gateway Mall, Araneta Center Aurora Boulevard, Cubao, Quezon City, Luzon Philippines
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19. Pinakbet
Up north in Ilocos, the vegetable dish of okra, eggplant, bitter gourd, squash, tomatoes and bagoong (shrimp or fish paste) called pinakbet is a favorite.
And now, this healthy, cheap, and easy to cook dish has made its way around the archipelago.
It is cooked in most households and local restaurants.
Try it at Max's Fried Chicken in Manila.
Max's Restaurant | Ayala Avenue Ground Floor, Convergys Building, Makati, Luzon Philippines
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20. Sinugno
Cooking with coconut milk is common in the province of Quezon, south of Manila.
Freshwater tilapia fish is grilled then simmered in coconut milk and chili.
It's definitely freshest when eaten close to the fishponds as they do in Kamayan Sa Palaisdaan.
Kamayan sa Palaisdaan Hotel & Resort | Brgy. Dapdap, Tayabas City, Luzon Philippines
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21. Bagnet
The lechon kawali, the deep fried pork, is a popular Filipino food all over the country.
Meanwhile, bagnet, a siimlar dish from the northern province of Ilocos, is coveted for its irresistible crunchy skin dipped in the sweet-sour vinegar sukang Iloko.
Buy it from the markets of Ilocos, or try it at Cafe Juanita.
Cafe Juanita | 2 United St Kapitolyo, Pasig, Luzon Philippines
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Based on 224 reviews
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22. Pancit habhab
Trust Filipino ingenuity to adapt noodles to their lifestyle.
In Lucban, Quezon, pancit habhab is served on a banana leaf and slurped.
Garnished with carrots, chayote, and a few pieces of meat, this cheap noodle dish is most often eaten by students and jeepney drivers on the go.
For an extra special version, there's the Old Center Panciteria which has been making the noodles since 1937. Cooks there add lechon, a generous serving of vegetables, and even hand you a fork.
Old Center Panciteria, 85 San Luis St. Lucban, Quezon +63 42 540 3068
MORE: Manila's world street food festival
23. Pork barbecue
In a country where almost everything is marinated, skewered and grilled in the street corners, everyone has their favorite barbecue meat.
Pork is the most popular.
Cebu is known for barbecue stalls along Larsian Street just off Fuente Osmena Circle.
Manila residents are addicted to that from Ineng's, which has many outlets in Metro Manila, for its big, chunky pieces of pork with a perfect, salty-sweet marinade.
Ineng's, Dela Rosa Car Park, Dela Rosa Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City, Metro Manila
24. Longaniza
Every province has their version of the pork sausage called longaniza.
It varies from sweet to garlicky to spicy.
Usually eaten for breakfast with garlic rice, fried egg and a dipping sauce of vinegar.
Zoricho, 118 Silver City, Frontera Verde, Ugong, Pasig City, Metro Manila +63 2 571 3269
25. Lumpiang ubod
The fruit, leaves and even the pith of the coconut tree is used in Filipino food.
The pith makes a sweet and tender filling for the fresh lumpia, our version of the spring roll.
A delicate egg wrapper contains a savory filling of ubod (the pith of the coconut tree), shrimps, pork, onions and a garlicky sweet sauce.
Bacolod city is known for its petite version of this spring roll.
El Ideal | 118 Rizal Street, Silay City Philippines
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Bailon Homemade Ilonggo Delicacies, 1115 Rodriguez Ave., Bangkal, Makati +63 2 843 6673
26. Bicol express
A fitting tribute to people who love coconut and spicy food is bicol express, a fiery chili, pork and coconut milk stew.
It can be tried at the hole-in-the-wall eatery called Top Haus in Makati.
Top Haus, 5994 J.D. Villena St., corner Mabini Street, Poblacion, Makati
27. Relyenong alimango
Filipino cooks are never fazed by fuzzy food preparations like relyenong alimango.
The crab is delicately peeled then sauteed with onions, tomatoes, herbs and stuffed back into the crab shell, then deep fried.
Chicken or bangus (milkfish) are also cooked relyeno.
Often cooked in homes for fiestas, but enterprising housewives sell them at the Sunday market in Quezon City (Centris Mall, Edsa, Quezon City) or the Saturday market in Makati (Salcedo Village, Makati).
28. Balut
No trip to the Philippines would be complete without sampling its famous balut.
Vendors peddling these eggs on the street chant "Baluuuuut!" to entice buyers.
This 17-day-old duck embryo is boiled, served with rock salt or spicy vinegar and is often consumed with beer.
29. Inihaw na panga ng tuna
General Santos and Davao City are known for their numerous ways with tuna.
The panga or jaw is often grilled over coals and dipped in sauce of soy sauce, vinegar, chili and calamansi (local lemon).
Marina Tuna | J. P. Laurel Ave, Davao City, Mindanao Philippines
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30. Fish kinilaw
The day's fresh catch is dressed in palm coconut vinegar, ginger, chili and spices.
Each province has its own way of preparing kinilaw.
Most wet markets will prepare this for you.
Most popular in Cebu is to eat it in Su-tu-kil, the row of seafood eateries (Lapu-LapuCity, Mactan,Cebu).
31. Kuhol sa gata
Fresh snails cooked in coconut milk and leafy vegetables.
The snails are served in the shell and a tiny fork (or toothpick) is used to loosen the meat inside.
This is usually served as an appetizer or a snack, but it works well with hot rice.
Barrio Fiesta | Makati Ave. cor. Valdez St, Makati, Luzon Philippines
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32. Sinanglay
Fresh tilapia is first stuffed with tomatoes and onions.
Then simmered in coconut milk and wrapped in pechay leaves (similar to bokchoy), which helps keep the fish together and adds a peppery taste.
It's a staple Filipino food.
33. Inihaw na Liempo

A Filipino-style barbecue using a popular pork part: liempo (pork belly).
Arguably, the best is Cebuano style -- a slab of liempo stuffed with herbs and spices and roasted.
The result is juicy flavorsome meat inside and crackling skin outside.
34. Empanada de kaliskis
The literal translation of these words is scaly pie.
A traditional meat pie from Malolos, it is a flaky, croissant-like pastry filled with chicken and deep fried.
Best freshly made, get it when in Malolos or from a reputable restaurant such as Adarna Food and Culture.
Adarna Food and Culture | 119 Kalayaan Avenue Diliman, Quezon City, Luzon Philippines
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35. Tinolang tugac
Frog isn't common in Manila.
But a few miles away in Pampanga you'll see it stuffed or stewed.
Or simply taking the place of chicken, such as in the common tinola -- a ginger-based soup usually cooked with chunks of green papaya and chili pepper leaves.
36. Camaro rebosado
Shrimp coated in egg and flour batter and deep fried.
Served with a tomato-based sweet and sour sauce for dipping.
37. Bibingka
For many Filipinos, Christmas is marked by the scent of bibingkas cooking at dawn.
These rice cakes are made by soaking the rice overnight, grinding it with a mortar stone and mixing in coconut milk and sugar.
Laborious.
The batter is poured into clay pots with banana leaves, with coals on top and below.
It's garnished with salted eggs, kesong puti (white cheese made from Carabao's milk) and slathered with butter, sugar and grated coconut.
Best eaten hot from weekend markets.
The best one is from Aling Linda at the Sidcor Sunday Market at Centris Mall, Edsa, Quezon City.
For the rest of the week, there's Via Mare or Ferino's Bibingka with branches all over Metro Manila.
Cafe Via Mare | Shop 138, Greenbelt 3 Ayala Center, Makati, Luzon Philippines
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38. Suman at manga
Sold along the roadside, suman are sticky rice snacks steamed in banana or coconut leaves.
There are many versions of suman, depending on the ingredients and leaves used.
These Filipino food snacks are often paired with sweet ripe mangoes.
They're cheap snacks, which travel well.
They can be bought from roadside stalls, or enterprising vendors peddling them on buses.
39. Champorado
When the rains start pouring and classes are suspended, children love this comforting breakfast -- a chocolate rice porridge.
It's hot, rich and filling.
To offset the sweetness it's often served with dried fish.
This breakfast of champs can be eaten in roadside carinderias or there's the triple chocolate version at Max's Fried Chicken in various cities.
40. Halo-halo
Many people joke that the Philippines has two seasons: hot and hotter.
Cool off with some halo-halo.
In Manila, MilkyWay Cafe offers the best halo-halo with finely shaved ice and a generous serving of leche flan, gulaman, ube, banana, kaong, beans and garbanzos, milk and a scoop of ube ice cream.
MilkyWay Cafe | 2/F MilkyWay Bldg, 900 Arnaiz Ave (Pasay Road corner Paseo de Roxas, Makati, Luzon 1200 Philippines
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reviews and photos

41. Buco pie
Go loco over coconut.
In the province of Laguna, buco pie (young coconut pie) wars are hot.
Each claims to be the best.
Orient D' Original may have a tacky name but this pie shop has been a favorite for 45 years.
They serve the pie hot, with a delicious filling with generous layers of tender coconut meat.
Orient D' Original, National Highway, Los Banos, Laguna, +63 4 9536 3783
42. Ensaymada at tsokolate
Ensaymada is a handmade cheesebread topped with sugar and cheese, and best served with thick Filipino hot chocolate.
Mary Grace cafe serves this unbeatable combination popular for breakfast or an afternoon snack.
Mary Grace | Greenbelt 2, Makati, Luzon Philippines
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reviews and photos

Based on 136 reviews
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43. Pastillas de leche
Made from fresh carabao milk and sugar, this sweet confection is stirred until thick and melts in the mouth.
Each piece is double wrapped in paper.
Traditionally, in the province of Bulacan, they hand cut ornate designs for the wrapper.
A consistent source of all things pastillas is Bulacan Sweets with more than 40 years of experience in making these sweets.
Bulacan Sweets, 155 N.S. Amoranto Ave., Quezon City, Metro Manila +63 2 740 2171
44. Puto bumbong

These may look like miniature chimneys along the roadside stalls, but that's what gives the chewy purple snacks their name.
Traditionally, purple mountain rice was used to make these, steamed in bamboo tubes, then served with butter, panocha (brown concentrated sugar) and grated coconut.
The Via Mare chain has been consistently producing chewy snack for years.
Cafe Via Mare | Shop 138, Greenbelt 3 Ayala Center, Makati, Luzon Philippines
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reviews and photos

45. Turon
This fried banana with langka (jackfruit) all sealed in a lumpia wrapper is our version of a sweet spring roll.
It is peddled around the cities and towns for the perfect merienda (mid-morning or afternoon snack).
46. Pan de sal
Pan de sal are small oval buns often eaten by Filipinos for breakfast. A brownish crust conceals a soft and fluffy inside. The best pan de sal is baked in an oven using firewood, naturally infusing the wood flavor into the bread.
Everyone has their favorite bakery, but Pan de Manila with outlets all over Metro Manila is consistently delicious.
Pan de Manila | lower GF dela Rosa carpark 2, Makati, Luzon Philippines
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reviews and photos

47. Taho
Brown sugar syrup is stirred into warm soybean custard and topped with sago pearls.
Traditionally sold by vendors walking the streets calling out to those at home, but can also be sourced from supermarkets and restaurants.
48. Tablea tsokolate
A customary hot chocolate drink that stems from Spanish colonial times, tablea tsokolate is made from tablea de cacao -- bittersweet, thick flat chocolate disks.
The traditional version is available at Adarna Food and Culture.
Adarna Food and Culture | 119 Kalayaan Avenue Diliman, Quezon City, Luzon Philippines
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reviews and photos

49. Halayang ube
The ube or purple yam is a popular ingredient used for desserts and here it's made into a sweet halayang ube (ube jam).
For decades the nuns of the Good Shepherd Convent in Tagaytay have been producing this jam.
Their product is smooth and creamy, and helps provide a livelihood to the single mothers who make them.
Good Shepherd Convent | Gibraltar Road Benguet, Baguio, Luzon Philippines
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reviews and photos

Based on 519 reviews
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50. Leche flan
This is a popular dessert among locals -- an egg and milk-based custard capped off with glistening caramelized sugar.


Episodes

Exploring how chef Massimo Bottura combines old- and new-school ways at Osteria Francescana in Italy.

Chef and farmer Dan Barber attempts to alter the way people think about food, as well as how food is grown.

Spotlighting chef Francis Mallmann's open-fire approach to cooking.

A look at the passion-infused kaiseki meals prepared at chef Niki Nakayama's Japanese restaurant in Los Angeles.

Spotlighting the cuisine found in the Australian restaurant of nature-loving chef Ben Shewry.

A look at chef Magnus Nilsson's restaurant in a remote part of Sweden.


Massimo Bottura: Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef Massimo Bottura

Price AUD$85.00 Price CAD$84.95 Price &euro55.00 Price £45.00 Price T64.95 Price USD$64.95

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Osteria Francescana is Italy’s most celebrated restaurant. At Osteria Francescana, chef Massimo Bottura takes inspiration from contemporary art to create highly innovative dishes that play with Italian culinary traditions. It’s an approach that has won him three Michelin stars and the number one place on the World's 50 Best Restaurant list.

Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef is a tribute to Bottura’s twenty-five year career and the evolution of Osteria Francescana. Divided into four chapters, each one dealing with a different period, the book features 50 recipes and accompanying texts explaining Bottura’s inspiration, ingredients and techniques. Illustrated with photography by Stefano Graziani and Carlo Benvenuto, Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef is the first book from Bottura - the leading figure in modern Italian gastronomy.

Specifications:

  • Format: Hardback
  • Size: 290 x 214 mm (11 3/8 x 8 3/8 in)
  • Pages: 296 pp
  • Illustrations: 250 illustrations
  • ISBN: 9780714867144

Massimo Bottura is the chef patron of Osteria Francescana, a three Michelin star restaurant based in Modena, Italy. Massimo grew up in Modena and developed an interest in cooking from a young age after watching his mother, grandmother and aunt in the kitchen preparing family meals. In 1986 he left a law degree to open his first restaurant and subsequently went on to develop his love of food with stages for Alain Ducasse at Louis XV in Monte Carlo and Ferran Adriá at elbulli. He opened Osteria Francescana in 1995.

Featured on the Netflix documentary series Chef's Table

"Massimo Bottura is the Jimi Hendrix of Italian chefs. he takes familiar dishes and classical flavors and techniques and turns them on their heads in a way that is innovative, boundary-breaking, sky kissing, and entirely whimsical, but ultimately timeless, and most importantly, deliciously satisfying." —Mario Batali

"A pioneer of modern Italian cooking, Bottura possesses both a deep respect for local traditions and a drive to keep blowing them up" —The Wall Street Journal

"Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef is an incredible book, as rich with inspiration as Massimo’s dishes are with flavor." —Cindy Sherman

"Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef demonstrates that food has indeed morphed into an element of high culture." —The New York Times Book Review

"This is more than just a conventional map of how to cook it is the best study yet of how a highly original and creative chef thinks and works." —The Economist

"The genius of Bottura lies in his ability to transcend opposites. In his inventive new book, Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef, he offers a mix of recipes and memoir, with striking photography by Carlo Benvenuto and Stefano Graziani." —Food & Wine

"The book is a wonder - full of photos of food, setting and whimsy. Fascinating windows into the workings of one of cooking’s greatest minds." —LA Times

"Massimo Bottura is a luminary of the culinary avant-garde." —The New Yorker

"Energetic, engrossing, and often quite funny. Hard to put down." —Tasting Table

"Bottura is part of a new word order of chefs, intently focused on their terroir, but global in reach." —GQ

"A heady trip into the thoughtful mind of the three-Michelin-starred culinary genius." —Slate.com

"A tribute to the 'Jimi Hendrix of Italian chefs'. Not only does it tell the story of his special journey with food it also features 50 of his amazing and inventive recipes." —Elle Decoration (South Africa)

"Bring a bit of Italy to UK shores. Will teach you to cook in a way that will make your old nonna proud." —Shortlist


Massimo Bottura

Heralded as the avant-garde master of Italian gastronomy, Massimo Bottura has been credited with reinvigorating and reinventing a national cuisine. At Osteria Francescana in Modena, his efforts have been recognised with three Michelin stars and the title of the World’s Best Restaurant, twice. But Bottura’s influence reaches beyond the boundaries of Italian food, and his motivations transcend mere awards and accolades. There is a social and environmental aspect to his work that might have lasting significance in the wider world.

It was in 1986 that Bottura bought his first restaurant, Trattoria del Campazzo, on the outskirts of his hometown of Modena. It was here that the young chef, inspired by his mother and grandmother’s cooking, acquired his classical French training courtesy of chef Georges Coigny, and applied it to the traditional cuisine of the Emilia Romagna region. He spent eight years learning his craft and developing his style before he took the bold decision to sell Campazzo to work with the legendary Alain Ducasse at Louis XV in Montecarlo. This mentorship had a profound effect on the Italian, and in 1995 he returned to Modena to open Osteria Francescana.

Exploring the rich heritage of Italian regional cuisine, while embracing modern cooking techniques, Bottura’s imagination began to run wild. His ruminations on philosophy, history or art could sit comfortably alongside a practical understanding of locally grown ingredients and simple recipes. It is within this context that Bottura managed to walk a tightrope between innovation and heritage, between the future and the past, and stay on his feet. And he does so to this day.

Ground breaking signature dishes such as Bottura’s Tortellini Walking on Broth signalled his intent as a revolutionary chef. The six pasta parcels placed in a line on a broth set with gelatine was initially met with disapproval by traditionalists in Modena. But it soon gained wider critical acclaim, spurring the chef on to create further imaginative dishes such as the now legendary Opps! I Dropped The Lemon Tart. The deconstructed dessert of zabaione, meringue and sorbet was inspired by a kitchen accident, in which Bottura saw the perfection in the imperfect.

Another dish, The Crunchy Part Of The Lasagne, explored Bottura’s childhood memories of his favourite food growing up. Whether it’s a Proustian reflection on the power of memory, or, as Bottura and every Italian child knows, simply the best part of the lasagne, the important thing is our emotional connection with food.

Osteria Francescana won the ultimate prize with both Michelin and the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards, and Bottura received the prestigious Grand Prix de l’Art from the International Culinary Academy in Paris in 2011. But away from the bubble of fine dining, Bottura began to focus on wider societal concerns such as food waste and social isolation. His non-profit Food For Soul initiative, run with his wife Lara Gilmore, aims to feed those excluded from society with healthy and tasty food that might otherwise have been thrown away. His Refettorio social kitchen projects in Rio De Janeiro, London, Paris, Milan, Bologna and Modena use surplus ingredients, often donated by supermarkets, to create high-quality dishes, such as spaghetti carbonara with banana skin ‘bacon’, in an inclusive environment.

Food For Soul has inspired Bottura’s latest book, Bread Is Gold, which showcases some of the extraordinary dishes that can be made with very ordinary ingredients. His previous book, the critically acclaimed Never Trust A Skinny Italian Chef, was a cheerful look back at 25 years of Osteria Francescana. He has spoken at countless symposiums and conferences across the world. And he has appeared on several TV shows including Chef’s Table, and in a documentary called Theater of Life (2016). His award-winning Villa Manodori range of olive oils and balsamic vinegars might be steeped in centuries of tradition, yet Massimo Bottura’s guiding philosophy never fails to look ahead with wonder, and imagine a better future.


The Sportsman Stephen Harris with a foreword by Marina O’Loughlin

Price AUD$59.95 Price CAD$59.95 Price &euro39.95 Price £29.95 Price T49.95 Price USD$49.95

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Named UK's best restaurant in the Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards in 2016 and 2017 and Number 1 in the 2017 Square Meal UK Top 100 Restaurants outside London

For home cooks, Stephen Harris, the chef at the UK's #1 restaurant, The Sportsman, shares the age-old and modern techniques to perfect 50 British classics.

From all appearances, The Sportsman, in Whitstable, Kent, is a standard English seaside pub. Following years of hard work, Stephen Harris has transformed this bucolic locale into an internationally acclaimed restaurant serving innovative regional cuisine that has earned it the top spot in Britain - and a cult following around the world. The simple, stylish recipes in Harris's debut cookbook epitomize all that's great about British cooking, and showcase his pared-back style, while his personal writings and memorabilia provide rare insight into an extraordinary life.

Photography by Toby Glanville

Specifications:

  • Format: Hardback
  • Size: 270 x 205 mm (10 5/8 x 8 1/8 in)
  • Pages: 256 pp
  • Illustrations: 150 illustrations
  • ISBN: 9780714874951

Stephen Harris, a former historian and financial advisor, is the chef behind The Sportsman, voted Best Restaurant in the UK in 2016.

"The Sportsman is a fascinating peek into the mind of someone who paved his own way and created a personal style infused with the region's rich culinary heritage. Whether you're a cook, avid diner, or fan of good stories, there's much to learn from Stephen Harris and his recipes. If you don't already, this book will make you want to visit as soon as possible."&mdashCorey Lee, Benu

"I absolutely love this restaurant - it is unpretentious, simple, warm, and delicious. Just a short drive outside London it's a must visit and truly transportive. The food has such a sense of place, is incredibly soulful, and the recipes in this book easily translate to the home. I cannot wait to get to The Sportsman again, but know that I can at least bring a taste of one of my favorite restaurants in the world into my home kitchen now that I have this book." —Daniel Humm

"Stephen Harris is one of the greatest British chefs cooking today. A man who wholeheartedly embraces his surroundings, environment, seasons, and producers. This is a snapshot and a window into his researched, moving, and personal connection to food." &mdashTom Kerridge

"Anyone who is interested in British cooking will be waiting for this. The Sportsman has won so many awards - consistently - that there is nothing I can say except that I've wanted this book since I first ate there, right back in the early days. Stephen Harris is the British chef all other British chefs (and many from Belgium, France, Scandinavia and the Netherlands) admire. He is also of interest to home cooks because he is entirely self-taught and only uses techniques because they really make a difference to flavour (not just to show off and not to be 'on trend'). The book doesn't just have many of his signature recipes but also beautifully written accounts of the 'terroir' in Kent where Stephen cooks, along with notes on his personal approach to food and how he became a cook. He is the most down-to-earth, obsessive, un-starry and thoughtful chef I know. Unusually for a chef's book the recipes look do-able. A lot of people have been waiting a long time for this. It's going on my bedside table before I move it into the kitchen."—Diana Henry, The Telegraph

"No faffing, no poncery, no energy and expense wasted on marble loos, groveling maître d's or arrogant sommeliers in short, never mind the bollocks. The Sportsman is all about the food - the sensationally good food." &mdashGuardian

"The Sportsman's interior is the British pub of the imagination: knotty woods everywhere, a fireplace built of mismatched bricks, warrens of rooms, and a prevailing sense of welcome. and it is a meal to relish." &mdashEater

"The Telegraph columnist and chef-proprietor at Michelin-starred pub The Sportsman, Stephen Harris is the personification of classic, unpretentious British grub. Each chapter of the book focus on a particular feature of the Kent terrain ith a section reserved for the basics, including recipes for seaweed butter, focaccia and parsley puree."—Telegraph.co.uk

"Here's a taste of why The Sportsman is a gastro-pilgrimage worth making. Ahead of his much anticipated book release, Stephen shares his wisdom and recipes."—Image Interiors & Living

"Sticky carpet seaside boozer turn acclaimed restaurant [. ] releases its first recipe book of Brit classics with flair." &mdashCountry and Town House

"The Turner-esque landscape of the Kentish coast inspire the simple but staggeringly good food at The Sportsman. Chef-owner Stephen Harris is about to publish a cookbook." &mdashJamie Magazine

"A much anticipated title This is a a chef's book, but also one for home cooks (Harris is self-taught). It's elegant yet gutsy, and fans will be thrilled by his classics, such as turbot with smoked cod roe sauce." &mdashDaily Telegraph

"Go behind the scenes at the Michelin-starred Whitstable restaurant, famed for its self-taught chef Stephen Harris, and the fact it used to be just your standard boozer. Try: the signature dish, slip sole in seaweed butter." &mdashPress Association

"The most popular pub in the UK has finally released a cookbook and we are giddy about it." &mdashDomesticSluttery

"One of the most keenly awaited cookbooks of recent years. A magical version of The Sportsman in print. The book is as pared back and desirable as the menu." &mdashCode Quarterly

"Stephen Harris' quiet genius has been to transform a tired (OK, make that exhausted) pub on the scrubby exurban landscape of the North Kent coast into a destination that's neither esoteric nor mundane. It's a process he unpicks in his first cookbook, a typically beautiful Phaidon affair, that rebuffs the notion of 'regional cooking' in favour of the idea of "terroir"."&mdashGQ

"The Sportsman seems like unlikely success story but has all the ingredients for a cult hit. Harris has no formal training, and famously once humble-bragged that The Sportsman is just a "grotty rundown pub the sea" in Seasalter, Kent. The story of the pub's ascent from local boozer to world-renowned restaurant is documented in its long-awaited, self-titled recipe book."&mdashIndependent.co.uk

"What's better than an English country pub. An English country pub that is also the best restaurant in England, that's what. The Sportsman's inaugural cookbook is just as no-nonsense as the establishment itself. So you can pretend you're propping up the bar in Whitstable without having to leave your kitchen."&mdashShortList

"[A] beautiful new cookbook."&mdashBon Appetit Online

"The must-have cookbook. Fantastic. What is surprising is how much of chef Stephen Harris' personality It manages to cram between its red covers. Food that is first and foremost, personal, simple and local it is some achievement to capture its essence this much wit and charm. Not just one of the best cookbooks of the year, one of the best reads - period."&mdashThe Sunday Times, Style

"It's easy to forget just how unlikely a success the Sportsman in Seasalter, Kent has been. The fact that Stephen Harris made the transition from financial advisor and enthusiastic home cook to chef-patron of a Michelin-starred mecca remarkable in itself. But read his new book, The Sportsman, and Harris' punk-rock approach to cooking and his ambition to create a 'jumble sale Michelin-starred restaurant' make perfect sense. This is no simple collection of recipes for the weekend dinner-party dabbler it's partly a history of Harris' path to becoming a chef, partly a treatise on what he calls "total cooking". A book that demonstrates a clear passion for the Garden of England [. ] as well as providing an entertaining account of the chef's vision. [Harris] writes so clearly and engagingly that, having opened the book for quick flick through, I suddenly found I had read half of it. Through the story of just one pub, this book charts in microcosm some of the seismic changes to have shaken up the British culinary world over the past 20 years. It's one for the collection."&mdashThe Caterer

"British classics. Part cookbook, part scrapbook. [Harris] shares his personal memorabilia and menus with classic recipes like pork belly and chocolate mousse."&mdashBBC Good Food Magazine

"The Sportsman and its new cookbook are magical. Paging and cooking through the cookbook from chef Stephen Harris in Kent gets you inside the head of one of Britain's top chefs. Harris quietly pushes things to the limits. To the point where they've reached a magical status."&mdashFood & Wine Online

"Well all I can say is thank god Stephen Harris changed his mind and wrote this book it is perhaps the most remarkable and personal cookbook I have read. Somehow it fills you with warmth. Incisive, welcoming and jovial short essays by Harris. causes the book to ooze and envelope you with the same warm atmosphere as the restaurant. I've never known a book do this quite so well."&mdashLondonLampost.com

"Harris shares the secrets of his simple, seasonal cuisine in a recipe book that celebrates the plenitude of the Kentish terroirs, from woodlands and hedgerows to sea and salt mashes."—Town & Country UK

"Long-awaited. its simple, stylish recipes epitomise all that’s great about British cooking." —Farmdrop

"An excellent gift for any foodie. Epitomises all that's great about simple, seasonal cooking. A rare insight into the British restaurant scene today."&mdashGreat British Food Magazine

"The Sportsman is a fascinating peek into the mind of someone who paved his own way and created a personal style infused with the region's rich culinary heritage. Whether you're a cook, avid diner, or fan of good stories, there's much to learn from Stephen Harris and his recipes. If you don't already, this book will make you want to visit as soon as possible."&mdashCorey Lee, Benu

"The terroir of the Kentish coast is faultlessly represented in The Sportsman . terroir remains the best term to define how variations in landscape and climate in a place give a region a certain identity. This is aired strikingly, with Toby Glanville's photographs of the estuary and marshes, weald and orchards — a soothing greyness, an atmosphere of English Nordic to get you into the mood and cook Harris's recipes."&mdashSpectator

"The simple, stylish recipes in owner and chef Stephen Harris's debut cookbook epitomize all that's great about British cooking, while his personal writings and memorabilia provide rare insight into an extraordinary life."&mdashiNews.co.uk

"Warm and unpretentious. There are recipes for many of the Sportsman's classics [. ] but it is the candid diary entries [. ] and thoughtful accounts of the Kentish surroundings from where Harris draws his ingredients that really shine."&mdashThe Sunday Times, Culture

"Anyone who has ever fantasised about opening their own restaurant will find this riveting. [Harris] tells the tales warts, hangovers, disasters and all. The recipes are all about cooking from the Kentish terroir, the sea, salt marshes, farms and woods. Stephen's style is simple, pared back and stylish and really makes ingredients sing. A fun and honest read with recipes that comfort, nurture and treat."&mdashCultureWhisper.com

"[S]howcases the remarkable seaside fare [Stephen Harris] is famous for. Harris's recipes communicate a strong sense of place and highlight his unique approach to regional British cuisine."&mdashNational Post/Postmedia

"Stephen has imagined a restaurant that has created memories for me, the best of what I like about my favorite restaurants. His cuisine has a complex simplicity that an ambitious cook can create at home. This cookbook is a reflection of not only who he is, his vision but also of where he is and the products he uses in the best possible way." —David Kinch, Manresa

"Not so long ago, the idea of a Michelin-starred pub was considered an oxymoron. Stephen Harris changed that when he opened The Sportsman. This book tells that story—how Harris broke the mold of British cuisine—and it does so in the same style as his food: simple, elegant, and made with a lot of heart." —Dan Barber, Blue Hill - Blue Hill at Stone Barns

"The Sportsman is a fascinating peek into the mind of someone who paved his own way and created a personal style infused with the region's rich culinary heritage. Whether you're a cook, avid diner, or fan of good stories, there's much to learn from Stephen Harris and his recipes. If you don't already, this book will make you want to visit as soon as possible." —Corey Lee, Benu

"Simple, stunning recipes that are quite accessible to any home cook. Stephen's story is an inspirational one, and it shines through the matte-finish pages of The Sportsman." —Huffington Post

"This handsome volume provides everything you could possibly want from a serious cookbook. A sense of place, history and character, along with fine writing, brilliant recipes, and chapters of Kentish terroir too. A book every bit as great as the restaurant." —Mail on Sunday, Event

"The best of them is The Sportsman by Stephen Harris - a book I've turned to repeatedly, in part for the lowdown on his brilliantly clear and assured seasonal British food, but also for the context in which it sits (thanks to his diary-style intros and essays)." —RocketAndSquash.com

"Stephen Harris, chef and owner of the Michelin-starred dining pub, The Sportsman, has finally written the book I've been looking forward to for more than a decade. Harris is a chef (self-taught), but this is not a cheffy book, as it has recipes for the everyday – it will help you to produce perfect roast pork with apple sauce, for example – as well as the elevated (brill braised in vin jaune with smoked pork). You will learn how to be a better cook just by reading it keep it by your bed first and then move it into the kitchen. In tone it's simultaneously elegant and gutsy, with its restrained design, simple but beautifully composed plates of food and heartfelt essays on the area of Kent in which Harris cooks." —Waterstones blog

"Authoritative, appetising, generous, a distillation of time and place. You can almost hear the seagulls and smell the seaweed. Stylishly penned portraits of the Thames estuary and salt marshes, and the surrounding Kent countryside. It's not overburdened with recipes but you will likely want to cook every one. An understated triumph." —The Observer, Observer Food Montly


Massimo Bottura: Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef Massimo Bottura

Price AUD$85.00 Price CAD$84.95 Price &euro55.00 Price £45.00 Price T64.95 Price USD$64.95

Gift options available at checkout

Osteria Francescana is Italy’s most celebrated restaurant. At Osteria Francescana, chef Massimo Bottura takes inspiration from contemporary art to create highly innovative dishes that play with Italian culinary traditions. It’s an approach that has won him three Michelin stars and the number one place on the World's 50 Best Restaurant list.

Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef is a tribute to Bottura’s twenty-five year career and the evolution of Osteria Francescana. Divided into four chapters, each one dealing with a different period, the book features 50 recipes and accompanying texts explaining Bottura’s inspiration, ingredients and techniques. Illustrated with photography by Stefano Graziani and Carlo Benvenuto, Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef is the first book from Bottura - the leading figure in modern Italian gastronomy.

Specifications:

  • Format: Hardback
  • Size: 290 x 214 mm (11 3/8 x 8 3/8 in)
  • Pages: 296 pp
  • Illustrations: 250 illustrations
  • ISBN: 9780714867144

Massimo Bottura is the chef patron of Osteria Francescana, a three Michelin star restaurant based in Modena, Italy. Massimo grew up in Modena and developed an interest in cooking from a young age after watching his mother, grandmother and aunt in the kitchen preparing family meals. In 1986 he left a law degree to open his first restaurant and subsequently went on to develop his love of food with stages for Alain Ducasse at Louis XV in Monte Carlo and Ferran Adriá at elbulli. He opened Osteria Francescana in 1995.

Featured on the Netflix documentary series Chef's Table

"Massimo Bottura is the Jimi Hendrix of Italian chefs. he takes familiar dishes and classical flavors and techniques and turns them on their heads in a way that is innovative, boundary-breaking, sky kissing, and entirely whimsical, but ultimately timeless, and most importantly, deliciously satisfying." —Mario Batali

"A pioneer of modern Italian cooking, Bottura possesses both a deep respect for local traditions and a drive to keep blowing them up" —The Wall Street Journal

"Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef is an incredible book, as rich with inspiration as Massimo’s dishes are with flavor." —Cindy Sherman

"Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef demonstrates that food has indeed morphed into an element of high culture." —The New York Times Book Review

"This is more than just a conventional map of how to cook it is the best study yet of how a highly original and creative chef thinks and works." —The Economist

"The genius of Bottura lies in his ability to transcend opposites. In his inventive new book, Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef, he offers a mix of recipes and memoir, with striking photography by Carlo Benvenuto and Stefano Graziani." —Food & Wine

"The book is a wonder - full of photos of food, setting and whimsy. Fascinating windows into the workings of one of cooking’s greatest minds." —LA Times

"Massimo Bottura is a luminary of the culinary avant-garde." —The New Yorker

"Energetic, engrossing, and often quite funny. Hard to put down." —Tasting Table

"Bottura is part of a new word order of chefs, intently focused on their terroir, but global in reach." —GQ

"A heady trip into the thoughtful mind of the three-Michelin-starred culinary genius." —Slate.com

"A tribute to the 'Jimi Hendrix of Italian chefs'. Not only does it tell the story of his special journey with food it also features 50 of his amazing and inventive recipes." —Elle Decoration (South Africa)

"Bring a bit of Italy to UK shores. Will teach you to cook in a way that will make your old nonna proud." —Shortlist


Q&A: David Gelb on ‘Chef’s Table,’ Netflix series featuring 6 obsessive chefs

In pitching his six-part docu-series, “Chef’s Table,” which debuts April 26 on Netflix, creator David Gelb’s bestselling point was “Jiro Dreams of Sushi,” his 2011 documentary about Tokyo’s most esteemed sushi master, Jiro Ono.

Gelb’s promise — to have each of the half-dozen episodes focus on a successful chef with a life story as compelling, doubt-filled and quirk-riddled as Ono’s — is aptly borne out in the cast of characters assembled.

Niki Nakayama of n/naka represents Los Angeles Attica Restaurant’s Ben Shewry is from Melbourne, Australia and Magnus Nilsson built his reputation in the remote town of Jarpen, Sweden. Other episodes of “Chef’s Table” will focus on New York’s Dan Barber of Blue Hill Restaurant at Stone Barns and Manhattan, Italy’s Massimo Bottura of Francescana in Modena, and Argentina’s Francis Mallmann.

Recently we caught up with Gelb to talk about finding the subjects for “Chef’s Table,” why Bottura’s bullying older brothers can take partial credit for one of his most famous dishes and how “Chef’s Table” and shows such as Bravo’s “Top Chef” have less in common than you’d think.

How is “Chef’s Table” different from the dozens of other food-centric television shows?

We don’t have a host or a competition format. Each episode is its own documentary and it puts a big burden on the filmmakers to keep it compelling for 45 minutes.

How many people did you go through before ending up with the six you chose?

So many. We have a binder full of chefs. There are so many awesome chefs in the world right now and they all have incredible stories so it was really a matter of who’s available and willing to give us the time that we need to go in depth.

What sorts of things did you keep in mind while narrowing the field?

We wanted the chefs to be pretty much obsessed with what they’re doing. We didn’t want chefs who have a ton of restaurants but who are really focused on the restaurants they do have and are trying to make them perfect. We wanted chefs who mastered the fundamentals, then broke the rules of tradition and made their own cuisine. We also wanted chefs who are in different places in their careers.

How far-flung is the range of experience and scope?

Massimo Bottura is ranked the No. 3 chef in the world, has three Michelin stars and kind of reinvented the traditional cuisine of Modena, Italy. Niki Nakayama isn’t as well-known on the international scene but she’s an incredible talent, a kind of up-and-comer in Los Angeles who has a completely different take on kaiseki.

Dan Barber pioneered the whole farm-to-table movement and is very much an intellectual chef. Francis Mallmann is all about the aesthetic — his fires and his plates are incredibly beautiful. He doesn’t even really work in a restaurant because he can’t be contained — he just wants to wander through the hills of Patagonia making beautiful fires.

What part did their specific dishes play in driving the narrative?

To start out, we tried to have a tasting course or eat a bunch of the food to see what it looked like. Then we’d talk to the chefs about which dishes had the most compelling stories. Everything in this series is extremely character driven. We featured the dishes that come from a very personal place in the chef.

When Massimo Bottura was a kid his older brothers would chase him around the house because he was the runt of the litter. He’d always end up hiding under a table in the kitchen where his grandmother was making tortellini by hand. She’d defend him with her rolling pin, tell his brothers to get lost. He has this incredibly fond memory of being under the table, seeing the world from this different perspective and stealing tortellini.

So he created a dish called “Tortellini Walking On Broth.” Traditionally, tortellini is maybe 10 to a spoonful. But on this plate he had only six pieces of tortellini so that the eater can appreciate each one. It’s not just about being full or it being delicious, it’s also about the idea behind the food. He’s very much a storyteller through his food. This is really true of all of our chefs.

Your father is the general manager of New York’s Metropolitan Opera. Do you think that had something to do with the prominent role that classical music plays in your documentaries?

Totally. I’m very much influenced by my parents. Before my father was the manager of the Metropolitan Opera, he was the manager of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and he was the leader of the Sony Classical Record label. He always worked with very obsessive artists in the music world.

He’d take me on his trips. I went with him to Japan as a kid, which is one of the reasons I was obsessed with sushi. My mom is a recipe chef and a writer for cookbooks. She and Peter Kaminsky worked with Francis on his cookbook, “Seven Fires,” and his new book, “Mallmann on Fire.”

Yes. I’m not great. But I try.

Making “Chef’s Table” must have been like an immersion course in fine cooking. What did you learn?

I learned so much about ingredients — like understanding what a piece of high-quality Parmigiano-Reggiano tastes like or what a true balsamic vinegar is. Massimo Bottura’s balsamic vinegar, the finest you can buy in a store, is available at Whole Foods. It’s called Villa Manodori. It turns out that my dad has been using that vinegar when he cooks since I was 13 years old. Finding that out really threw me for a loop.

What types of foods film best?

With our cameras and lenses and the way we frame it we can pretty much make anything look relatively delicious. The challenge was always, “How do I make it feel like the viewer is there?” Unfortunately there is always going to be the barrier of [the viewer not being able to taste the food]. Not even Smell-a-Vision solves that.

What’s the best response you ever got for “Jiro Dreams of Sushi”?

“I don’t eat sushi, but I still love the movie.” That shows that [the film wasn’t] really about the sushi, it was about the journey.

Let’s talk about the 5 to 1 ratio of men to women subjects in “Chef’s Table.”

I think that’s a ratio that exists in the food world as well. But there are many excellent female chefs out there and some of them we went out to and weren’t available when we needed them.

Describe a memorable meal that you had during production.

I remember being completely blown away by the tasting course that Massimo Botturo had for me in his wine cellar. He was bringing out all kinds of experimental dishes and it was absolutely amazing that all these different dishes were coming from the same [kitchen]. It was such an explosion of creativity and I was really moved by that.

One was an incredibly simple dish: He stuck a popsicle stick in a tube of foie gras rolled in hazelnuts and injected his balsamic vinegar into the heart of it. It’s so simple and yet so incredibly delicious and uses elegant ingredients served in this informal way. It was absolutely brilliant.

What’s it like poring over hours and hours of footage for a television series that is overflowing with shots of exquisite-looking food?

We always made sure that we had lunch before we reviewed cuts in the edit room. Otherwise we’d get so hungry that it was distracting.


Chef Massimo Bottura: The Pavarotti of pasta

Today, when chefs can be as famous as movie stars and their creations in the kitchen as admired as original works of art, there are few who rival the success and celebrity of Massimo Bottura.

His restaurant, Osteria Francescana has three Michelin stars and, as we first reported last year, it ranked number one on the list of "The World's 50 Best Restaurants."

It's located in Northern Italy in a city called Modena, where the great tenor, Luciano Pavarotti, was born. When we went to Modena to meet Chef Bottura, we were struck by how operatic he is.

Massimo Bottura: Imagine, imagine, imagine, dream. You have to dream about food, okay? So--

Lesley Stahl: Do you dream about food?

Massimo Bottura: I always dream about food. I always dream.

Bottura with correspondent Lesley Stahl

We first met Massimo Bottura shopping for food in Modena, the home of Italy's finest balsamic vinegar and parmesan cheese. He buys the freshest vegetables like green tomatoes that he likes to top off with 25-year-old balsamic vinegar.

Massimo Bottura: (LAUGH) Are you ready?

Massimo Bottura: Okay. It's an experience that is gonna stay with you for the rest of your life. I'm telling you that.

Lesley Stahl: This is a huge moment Massimo.

Massimo Bottura: Yeah, it's a huge moment for you.

Lesley Stahl: The whole thing, just like that?

Massimo Bottura: Just one bite.

(Stahl puts tomato in her mouth)

Massimo Bottura: And close your eyes, connect your mental palate and understand. Your perception, your receptors are talking to you right now.

Lesley Stahl: There are so many different things going on in my mouth. I can't believe it.

Massimo Bottura: Yeah, it is. It is. It is. Complexity.

And that's his signature as a chef.

Lesley Stahl: And what's he making?

Massimo Bottura: He's making risotto, toasting rice, with, look, orange juice.

Dishes that are complex mixtures of unexpected flavors.

In his kitchen at Osteria Francescana, he oversees a staff of 35 as they build his beautiful, avant-garde masterpieces &ndash that he says are inspired by contemporary art. His creations are like canvasses.

Bottura's "Camouflage" dish Carlo Benvenuto/Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef

And he christens them: he calls this "Camouflage" - made of wild hare, juniper berries and cocoa powder.

Lesley Stahl: Oh, that's spectacular.

Some of his dishes are beautiful, some are whimsical -- and then there's his version of popular Italian cuisine.

Lesley Stahl: That's chicken cacciatore?

Massimo Bottura: So, this is chicken cacciatore.

You wouldn't recognize most of his Italian dishes&hellip

This is "The Crunchy Part of Lasagna"

Massimo Bottura: Spaghetti with tomato, spaghetti with parmigiana, spaghetti with fresh herbs.

Bottura is one of the most successful chefs in the so-called deconstruction school, where food is presented like abstract art.

Lesley Stahl: What do you call this dish?

Massimo Bottura: Uh, I don't know..

His culinary creations are rooted in the traditions of Northern Italy and his hometown, Modena, an ancient city of narrow streets and grand piazzas - where they've been making parmesan cheese and balsamic vinegar the same way for centuries.

It's where Bottura's love of food began, when he was just a little boy, hiding under the kitchen table.

Massimo Bottura: I remember my grandmother was rolling pasta. In the meantime, what I was doing I was stealing the tortellini from-- from under the table and eat the raw tortellini.

Lesley Stahl: That's how you were beginning to develop your palate was from--

Massimo Bottura: I think so.

Lesley Stahl: --raw tortellini.

Massimo Bottura: Yeah. From a raw tortellini (OVERTALK) you can understand a lot. (CHUCKLE) You can understand the amount of spices they use, the amount of parmigiano, the amount of ham, you know, those kind of things.

Lesley Stahl: Even as a little kid.

Massimo Bottura: Balance. Balance.

Lesley Stahl: How old are you at that point? You're a kid.

Massimo Bottura: Yeah, like seven, six.

Lesley Stahl: And you're falling in love with food.

Massimo Bottura: In that moment.

He started cooking for his friends when he was in high school, but his father wanted him to become a lawyer in the family's lucrative fuel business.

Massimo Bottura: I have to show my dad he was wrong. Because he tried to convince me not to get into that business.

Lesley Stahl: Of being a chef.

Lesley Stahl: He didn't respect that as a serious profession.

Massimo Bottura: He didn't, no. No, no, no. No, no, he didn't.

Lesley Stahl: No more money from daddy.

Massimo Bottura: No, no. That was it.

Lesley Stahl: Cut you off. And you're saying to yourself, "I have to show you."

Massimo Bottura: I don't want to say-- "Revenge" is a very strong word. It's more like-

Lesley Stahl: Show he-- show that you were right.

Massimo Bottura: Show that I was right.

But he wasn't right, right away. When he and his American wife Lara Gilmore opened Osteria Francescana in 1995, amidst all that tradition in Modena, they were offering Bottura's minimalist rendition of a bowl of tortellini, just six little pieces of pasta.

Lesley Stahl: So six little, tiny-- and that was it.

Lara Gilmore: So, the biggest provocation of all.

Lesley Stahl: Yeah. (CHUCKLE)

Lara Gilmore: A tortellini is something, it's comfort food for-- for Modenese. It's like a religion. If you don't believe in God, you believe in tortellini. But you don't want six. You want a nice, big abundant bowl of tortellini with the hot broth. And he was serving this sort of warm, room-temperature broth gel and the tortellini were there. There were six of them. And the Modenese were, like, putting their hands, like, "What did I come here for?! (LAUGHTER) Why am I here?"

Food critics asked themselves the same question.

Massimo Bottura: A very important Modenese food critic came and he--

Lara Gilmore: THE Modenese food critic.

Massimo Bottura: --and he-- "the" Modenese food critic-- (LAUGHTER) came and eat at our restaurant. Like the-- (CHUCKLE) the--

Lesley Stahl: Oh god. (LAUGHTER)

Lara Gilmore: Of course the review was terrible. (OVERTALK)

Massimo Bottura: The review was like (OVERTALK) "Please don't go there."

Massimo Bottura: "Don't go there."

And hardly anyone did. His food was seen as a sacrilege in a country that reveres mothers and their home-cooking.

Lesley Stahl: Did you ever say to yourself, "OK I'm going right back to the old Italian cooking? I can do it. I know how to do it."

Massimo Bottura: No, you can't do that.

But after six years of bad reviews and empty tables,

He gave in and introduced a handful of traditional Italian dishes, including an old-fashioned tagliatelle. And then a prominent national-food critic happened by, ordered the tagliatelle and wrote--

Massimo Bottura: These are the best tagliatelle in the world.

Lesley Stahl: He said that.

Lesley Stahl: So that turned everything around.

Bottura with his wife, Lara Gilmore

Lesley Stahl: You are known as the maestro.

Massimo Bottura: Now. Before, they want to crucify me in the main piazza. (CHUCKLE) Now they call me maestro. That's the difference.

Some of the maestro's dishes are improvisations born out of accidents, like his "Oops! I Dropped the Lemon Tart."

Massimo Bottura: That's a classic. (LAUGHTER)

The story begins when his pastry chef, Taka, was making a lemon tart.

Massimo Bottura: I saw Taka completely white. He drop one of the two tart in the plate, upside down, just like that.

Massimo Bottura: Taka was like ready to kill himself. And-- and-- I said, "Taka! Taka, no! Please, no."

Lesley Stahl: "Don't kill yourself."

Massimo Bottura: "Don't, don't. (CHUCKLE) Look at that. That lemon tart is so beautiful that we have to serve the second one exactly the first one." We did it. We rebuilt, in a perfect way, the imperfection. We (SLAP) smashed the other tart exactly as the first one. (CHUCKLE) I can't believe-- I can't believe we did that. If I think now, I-- like, we were crazy. (CHUCKLE) I was like totally out of mind.

"Oops I Dropped the Lemon Tart" is Jackson Pollack on a plate. And it's one of the most popular dishes on a tasting menu of 12 courses that, with wine, can cost more than $500 a person.

They serve lunch and dinner five days a week and it's always booked. Reservations open three months in advance, and fill up in minutes.

Massimo Bottura: Are you prepare for the best salad of your life?

He invited us to sample some of his other signature dishes in his well-stocked wine cellar.

Massimo Bottura: Caesar Salad in bloom.

Lesley Stahl: Those are flowers.

Massimo Bottura: All flowers, edible flowers.

Lesley Stahl: All edible flowers?

Massimo Bottura: 27 elements in that dish.

It takes two chefs to build the salad leaf by leaf, petal by petal. And for this dish it takes a splash of seawater.

Massimo Bottura: This is seawater transformed into paper.

Lesley Stahl: You make paper out of seawater?

It may not look like it, but this is Bottura's filet of sole, topped off with wisps of dehydrated seawater. He calls it "Mediterranean Combustion."

Lesley Stahl: How am I ever going to eat normal food again, ever?

Massimo Bottura: But you feel how light you feel.

Lesley Stahl: Very light. But totally delicious. How long did it take you to create this one dish? Was it months? Was it --?

Massimo Bottura: 32 years of experience.

Now 56, after all his hard work, Bottura is riding high: sometimes on his customized Ducati motorcycle.

But a few years ago he began to feel something was missing in his life: that serving fancy food to international foodies wasn't enough.

So, like other celebrity chefs, he began to think about helping the poor, by feeding them.

Lara Gilmore: This is late 2013. We had just sort of-- one year into having our 3rd Michelin star. We had worked 20 years to get. And I'm thinking, "Now you want to start doing this?" I thought it was a terrible idea.

But, she relented and helped him open a number of what he calls refettorios &ndash kind of souped up soup kitchens. But he didn't want them to feel like down-and-out, stand-in-line cafeterias.

So, partnering with local charities, he created warm, inviting dining rooms in old abandoned theaters or unused space in churches where the working poor and homeless Italians and refugees from Africa sit side-by-side with volunteers who serve them three-course meals like in high-quality restaurants.

The food, donated by local grocery stores, would've been thrown out because it's slightly-damaged or near its sell-by date.

He's opened six refettorios so far: in London, Paris, Rio de Janeiro and three in Italy, with more to come.

Lesley Stahl: Where did that inspiration come from?

Massimo Bottura: The numbers are math. Numbers: 33% of the world production are wasted every year. 1.3 billion tons of food is wasted every year. You know, think about one trillion of apples goes in the gab-- garbage. Think about how many, you know, apple pie you could create with those trillions of, you know. That's insane!

The man who has, for decades, insisted on the oldest balsamic, the finest parmigiano, the freshest tomatoes now realizes there's salvation in discarded leftovers. If cooked well they can nourish the poor, as he says: by filling their stomachs and lifting their spirits.

Massimo Bottura: It's absolutely necessary to give back some of the lucky life you're living. So this is about giving back. It's what we need. We need dreams. If you don't dream and you don't dream big, you know, you cannot change the world.

In May, Chef Bottura auctioned off a 49-year old bottle of scotch whiskey for $140,000. The proceeds will go toward his fight against hunger and food waste, a cause that Time Magazine cited when it named Bottura one of the 100 most influential people of 2019.

Produced by Rich Bonin and Sabina Castelfranco. Associate producer, Ayesha Siddiqi.

One of America's most recognized and experienced broadcast journalists, Lesley Stahl has been a 60 Minutes correspondent since 1991.


Watch the video: Chefs Table - Season 1. Massimo Bottura HD. Netflix (August 2022).