Chef Massimo Bottura, of the exceptional Osteria Francescana in Modena, was in town for a couple of days earlier this week.
He was brought over as part of the remarkable and groundbreaking series of events, called "In Cibo Veritas" ("in food there is truth"), organised by Bulgari Il Ristorante in Ginza, featuring some of Italy's finest contemporary chefs.
As in the previous dinners (this was the 3rd of the 7-part series), it was a collaboration with Bulgari's own in-house chef supreme, Luca Fantin. It was (needless to say) memorable!
Having tasted Massimo's cuisine in Modena a couple of years ago (my blog post is here…), I was eager to see which of those classics he was going to serve in Tokyo. I was also really looking forward to trying some new dishes — as well as discovering more of Luca's beautiful creations.
I'll put some longer descriptions up later. For now I'm going to let the images speak for themselves. Starting with these appetizers…
…including this amazing rose (made with slivers of beet and rose jelly), inside an actual red rose on the stem:
• Gambero e carcciofi // Shrimp and artichokes (from Luca Fantin):
• Triglia all livornese // Mullet livornese style (from Massimo Bottura)
• Un capitone risale il fiume Po // An eel swimming up the Po river (Massimo Bottura)
• Carpaccio di verdure // Vegetable carpaccio (Luca Fantin)
• Riso cacio e pepe // Cheese and pepper risotto (Massimo Bottura)
• La parte croccante di una lasagna // The crunchy part of a lasagna (Massimo Bottura)
• Agnello paglia e fieno // Lamb "straw and hay" (Luca Fantin)…
The entrecôte of lamb (above) was accompanied by a rich broth made from lamb belly and onions:
• "surprise" (Massimo Bottura): "the first ever salad served as a pre-dessert"…
• Fragola // Strawberry (Luca Fantin)
• Ooops! mi è scivolata la crostatatina! // Ooops! I dropped the lemon tart! (Massimo Bottura)
• special balsamico di Modena
It was a more than just a superb banquet. It was a work of art and love!
Thank you Massimo. Thank you Luca. Thank you Bulgari!