Bread Is Gold

Bread1cThe publisher’s blurb starts with an annoying claim, as if there is one chef better than all others in the world, that illustrates why foodie-ism is less and less linked to on this platform. Nonetheless, the book sounds worthy of attention:

Massimo Bottura, the world’s best chef, prepares extraordinary meals from ordinary and sometimes ‘wasted’ ingredients inspiring home chefs to eat well while living well.

‘These dishes could change the way we feed the world, because they can be cooked by anyone, anywhere, on any budget. To feed the planet, first you have to fight the waste’, Massimo Bottura

Bread is Gold is the first book to take a holistic look at the subject of food waste, presenting recipes for three-course meals from 45 of the world’s top chefs, including Daniel Humm, Mario Batali, René Redzepi, Alain Ducasse, Joan Roca, Enrique Olvera, Ferran & Albert Adrià and Virgilio Martínez. These recipes, which number more than 150, turn everyday ingredients into inspiring dishes that are delicious, economical, and easy to make.

We remember the genesis of this from a story by Adam Robb a couple of years ago:


The renovated Refettorio Ambrosiano in Milan’s Greco neighborhood will house a charity event organized by chef Massimo Bottura during Expo Milano 2015. Credit Adam Robb

Massimo Bottura’s Pope Francis-Approved Refectory, and Recipe to Turn Stale Bread Into Gold

Italy’s most progressive exhibition of sustainable cooking commences this Thursday, when the Michelin-starred chef Massimo Bottura throws open the doors of Refettorio Ambrosiano, the once-derelict theater repurposed to educate and feed the refugees and working poor who reside far across town from the multinational pavilions welcoming culinary tourists to this summer’s Expo Milano 2015.The contemporary refectory in the heart of the city’s under-resourced Greco neighborhood will host a coterie of Bottura’s most charitable colleagues, beginning with Eleven Madison Park’s Daniel Humm and former Chez Panise chef Seen Lippert, eager to make a feast of the exposition’s transported food waste for those most in need by performing culinary alchemy twice daily in a glass-enclosed stage. “At lunchtime, there are going to be students there; and the very best chefs in the world, the rock ‘n’ roll stars, will be cooking scraps for them,” says Bottura of the facility’s secondary mission. “It’s like the Pope washing the feet of the people in the street.” While Bottura’s inspiration for the project draws on local influences including the Italian cinematic fantasia “Miracle in Milan” and Leonardo da Vinci’s “Last Supper,” his greatest motivator has been Pope Francis, whose spontaneous utterance of “Buon pranzo!” (“Good lunch!”) five days into his papacy inspired a renewed sense of faith within the chef. “Introducing himself with those words reminds everyone to start each day with humility, and humility is the most important thing,” Bottura says, “because from there others are going to follow you.”


Bottura, with stale bread to be used for his Bread is Gold dessert. Credit Adam Robb

Bottura says that one week after approaching the Vatican with his proposal for the refectory, “the Pope said, ‘This is a great idea. Let’s do it, not in downtown Milan, but let’s give pride to the poorest quarter of Milan.’” Afterward, the Pavilion Zero curator Davide Rampello assisted the refectory in forming a partnership with the Catholic relief agency Caritas, and Bottura extended an invitation to a roster of high-profile chefs including Rene Redzépi, Alain Ducasse and Mario Batali, who are now scheduled to helm the kitchen through Columbus Day. And because this is Italy, where spirituality, even humility, does not preclude flair, the Refettorio Ambrosiano’s design is in league with Bottura’s gallery-like Modena restaurant, Osteria Francescana. “When rumors started spreading of the refettorio, the architects of Politecnico di Milano said, ‘We’re going to restore it for free,’” Bottura recalls of the university’s role in transforming the tattered interior of the abandoned Teatro Greco. Inside, rows of dysfunctional upholstered seating from the 1930s have given way to a dining hall decorated with Artemide lighting, and modern Kartell chairs are paired with communal oak monastery tables envisioned by 13 of Italy’s most influential furniture designers, including Antonio Citterio, Fabio Novembre and Terry Dwan…

Read the whole story here.

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