"I’ll teach you how to develop your own palate and bring to life your creativity and emotions through your dishes."

By Bridget Hallinan
June 20, 2019
Courtesy of MasterClass.

Massimo Bottura is often hailed as one of the best, if not the best, chefs in the world—and it’s easy to see why. His Modena restaurant Osteria Francescana frequently tops the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, with a menu that touts artistic, high-concept dishes like an “eel swimming up the Po River” and “Oops! I dropped the lemon tart.” You’d think taking cooking classes with him would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, or at the very least incredibly expensive, but a new MasterClass will change that. On Thursday, the online learning platform announced that Bottura is joining the ranks of many other high-profile chefs, like Alice Waters and Gordon Ramsay, in teaching his own MasterClass—all dedicated to modern Italian cooking.

“To me, cooking is an act of love,“ Bottura said in a statement. “In my MasterClass, we will reimagine cooking. I’ll teach you how to develop your own palate and bring to life your creativity and emotions through your dishes. I hope to ignite a similar passion I have for cooking in each and every one of my MasterClass students.” 

In the 12-class course, Bottura and his sous chef at Osteria Francescana, Taka Kondo, will show you how to make several classic dishes from the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, including tagliatelle with ragu, tortellini, pumpkin risotto, and Bottura’s famous Emilia Burger—consisting of a seared ground beef patty mixed with Parmigiano-Reggiano, topped with green sauce and balsamic mayo on a toasted brioche bun. A quick glance at the lesson plan also finds an entire episode dedicated to the evolution of pesto (Bottura apparently likes to use breadcrumbs instead of pine nuts), as well as “spin-painted beet,” a roasted beet dish that’s inspired by Damien Hirst, one of Bottura’s favorite artists. 

Bottura is also passionate about zero-waste cooking—his non-profit organization, Food for the Soul, empowers communities to fight food waste through social inclusion and partnerships. Accordingly, several episodes demonstrate how to repurpose leftover food, like the passatelli accompanied by vegetable brodo di tutto (“broth of everything”), made with vegetable scraps; his “Better Than Panettone” soufflé takes leftover cakes and sweet breads (in this case, panettone) to make a light dessert. 

The course rounds out with two bonus episodes—a tasting demonstration of three ingredients fundamental to Italian cuisine (tomatoes, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and balsamic vinegar), and an explainer behind two signature dishes at Osteria Francescana, “The Crunchy Part of the Lasagna” and “Mediterranean Sole.” All skill levels are welcome to the course, according to the announcement. If you’re interested, the classes are live now—you can enroll with unlimited access for a one-time fee of $90; or, a yearly fee of $180 will give you unlimited access to all MasterClass courses.  

In other MasterClass news, the online learning platform also debuted an Aaron Franklin course last month, just in time for summer. The 16-lesson series covers everything from smoking pork ribs to creating that famous Central Texas barbecue brisket—learn more in our chat with Franklin.

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