There is a restaurant called Osteria Francescana in Modena Italy, owned by a man named Massimo Bottura, which quickly inspired it’s way onto my bucket list. Everyone needs to dine at a world class restaurant at least once in their life, and doing it in Italy would certainly be an adventure worth working for. Aside from my general fascination with Italy, what i found particularly interesting about this restaurant was the way Massimo uses food as an art statement. Modena is a traditional place, and from what i gather about most Italians, they are very set in their traditions. This is in many ways a beautiful thing because it allows them to preserve their heritage with stories that date back centuries. It must be amazing to have such roots, so deeply grounded. Massimo however has challenged them to see things differently by breaking tradition with the old recipes of Modena and making them respectively bold and new, yet familiar.
Parmesan is not just Parmesan, it’s flavor is dynamic. Depending on the years aged, each one takes on a unique taste. As this dish demonstrates, five ages- each toting their own signature flavor and texture.
As with most traditional environments his bold unconventionality was initially met with huge resistance. You just don’t mess with grandmothers recipes, why change a good thing that works for you? It’s a big deal apparently. For me, i think it’s inspiring to see how he uses something as simple as food to challenge people to see things from different angles and perspectives, to think outside of the well known. Tradition and custom is an important part of life, however sometimes we run the risk of becoming too narrow minded when we silence or exclude any voices that do not follow in line with our own. We only limit ourselves from reaching a greater potential for growth and understanding.
As Aristotle said –
“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. “