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August 28, 2014

Massimo Bottura's Three Cleverest Creations

By Massimo Bottura | Books
Massimo Bottura's Three Cleverest Creations
Courtesy of Serge Bloch

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.”