Last night, in New York, Chef Massimo Bottura's "Osteria Francescana" in Modena was named the World's Best Restaurant in the 50Best rankings.
It is the first time an Italian restaurant has won an award that recognises the world-beating status of Italy's whole culture of fine food, since Bottura has showcased the country's wonderful raw materials, starting from those of his own region (Parmigiano cheese, ham, balsamic vinegar) and made them the foundations of his cuisine.
"I'd like to thank all my staff. It's been very tough. What we do is first and foremost an art form," Bottura declared. Creativity and intuition are just two of his outstanding qualities, together with vast knowledge and innate social responsibility: "Knowledge is the key to awareness, and awareness leads to responsibility."
He was responsible for the impressive Ambrosian Refectory project during the Expo, where the world's greatest chefs cooked with the food waste from the exhibition. A fine example for the rest of the world, with several projects which will be repeating the concept in the next few months, most significantly in the Rio de Janeiro favelas during the Olympics.
The award of the world crown to Massimo Bottura is not only a source of great satisfaction and joy to him and his staff: it is also a major recognition of Italy's excellence in many areas, which should be exploited, fostered and promoted.
The top ten. Top of the table of the World's 50 Best Restaurants is Osteria Francescana of Modena (Massimo Bottura); it is followed by El Celler de Can Roca, Girona (Joan Roca) and Eleven Madison Park of New York (Daniel Humm); in fourth place Central in Lima (Virgilio Martínez); then Noma in Copenhagen (René Redzepi), Mirazur in Menton (Mauro Colagreco); Mugaritz in San Sebastián (Andoni Luis Aduriz), Narisawa in Tokyo (Yoshihiro Narisawa), Steirereck in Vienna (Heinz Reitbauer), and finally Asador Etxebarri in Axpe (Victor Arguinzoniz).