From Our Archive
This story was published before Summer 2021, when we launched our new digital experience.

Massimo Bottura's Three Cleverest Creations

MOST READ ARTS
Spring Awakening

Books

Spring Awakening

Sloane Crosley has her pick of the spring’s best new books.

A Dinner Date With Michael Stipe

Music

A Dinner Date With Michael Stipe

Over a meal at one of his favorite restaurants in New York City, the former R.E.M....

Into the Labyrinth

Performance

Into the Labyrinth

Japanese artist Motoi Yamamoto tells a story in salt.

Chicken, Chicken, Chicken, Where Are You? (2008)

“When my daughter was five, she said, ‘Okay, Dad, I’m going to cook something for you.’ She served a plate full of plastic vegetables and said, ‘This plate is called Chicken, Chicken, Chicken, Where Are You?’ I didn’t know how to express that kind of incredible metaphysical idea. It’s like de Chirico’s [painting] Piazza d’Italia. [Much later] we came out with this recipe that was like a twist on chicken salad [without chicken]. At the end you can find under the salad the roasted chicken flavor from the sauce.”

Cappuccino (1989)
“This is one of the earliest plates we served. You see the shape of a cappuccino and a croissant. But it’s a ‘cappuccino’ of potato and onion, two very poor elements, served with a very, very old balsamic vinegar—maybe the most precious element in the world. It’s a very Pop idea. We serve it with a croissant. Every Italian starts the morning at the bar with a croissant. But instead of being sweet, we make it savory, breaking the border between the two tastes. So instead of representing all of Italy, it represents my terroir, Emilia-Romagna.”

A Potato Waiting to Become a Truffle (2010)
“This dish looks like a potato that has been cooked in the oven. It’s like Arte Povera. The title of the recipe is a message for the young generation: Why do you want to be a truffle? Because the market price is $3,000 instead of $3? If I had to choose to be a truffle or a potato, I would choose the potato, because it is so good. We cook the potato in salt and sugar, empty it and refill it with a soufflé of yolk, white chocolate, truffle, potato and vanilla. It’s a real working-class hero. It’s a potato that is much better than a truffle.”

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