By Cristina Cabrejas
Rome, Apr 24 (efe-epa).- Italian celebrity chef Massimo Bottura is confident that gastronomy will trigger a new ethics in the world post-pandemic, the brains behind Osteria Francesca, one of the best restaurants in the world, told Efe.
Bottura is optimistic about the reopening of restaurants, and despite all the difficulties the sector will face he is confident it will rebound.
“Gastronomy will be one of the main sources for this new ethics in the world. A caring ethics where cooks leave their kitchens and get involved in creating a better world,” the chef says.
Bottura is one of the most influential people in the world, not only for revolutionizing the food scene in Italy and beyond, but also due to his efforts combating food waste and feeding those in need.
Ever in search of innovation he accepted his daughter Alexa’s challenge to share their family’s daily dinner prepping live on Instagram.
Thousands of people connect every afternoon and the Kitchen Quarantine videos have an average of half a million views.
Dressed in one of the sweatshirts he sports during the evening shows, Bottura sits in his living room talking to Efe and explains why he decided to share the precious moments with his family and his traditional home cooking “devoid of technicalities.”
“We do everything to keep ourselves busy and share joy and positivity at a time that is generally very difficult. I liked the idea right away because I always have the door open to the unexpected.”
It is not a “master class”, he says. It is just a candid glimpse into his family life with his wife Lara and children Charlie and Alexa, who records and directs the videos.
The dishes he is whipping up are far from the sophisticated modernist cuisine he champions in his restaurant. He has returned to traditional techniques like making creme patisserie for a cake, tiramisu, bechamel sauce, chocolate flan and pasta bake.
For Bottura, the lockdown “has given us the gift of time,” and the extra time was an opportunity to “listen to others” and “create something special.”
Since the pandemic struck Italy, everything has changed, he says.
People can go out up to twice a week for shopping which “has been an incredible creative exercise” and the perfect opportunity to apply one of Bottura’s maxims: to use all leftovers.
“Right now, if you open my fridge it is empty. There is nothing left over. It is shopping day. It is a technical and spiritual exercise that has worked out extraordinarily for us,” he adds.
Bottura was one of the first in Italy to close all his restaurants the day after the first measures were issued.
“On 9 March we were full. There was no free table in the following months and from one day to the next we found ourselves like this. Although we were allowed to serve food and remain open until six in the afternoon, I could not put the people who work there at risk and decided to close.”
But his socially driven initiative, Food for Soul, which has diners around the world feeding those in need, known as Refettorios and Social Tables, remains in operation.
Although the service which reaches London, New York, Paris, Rio de Janeiro and various Italian cities, cannot be carried out as before due to social distancing measures, the kitchens continue to prepare take away meals.
Bottura says they are serving more people now than ever before, with 5,000 daily meals in Paris and in Bologna, central Italy, they have gone from delivering 100 to 250 daily dinners.