It’s not your usual cookbook. The back story to this one is as remarkable, as the recipes it contains and as the chefs that contributed them. The Expo 2015 in Milan had a theme “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life”, which gave Massimo the idea to set up a pop up serving food cooked with the waste from Expo.

“I invited friends and colleagues to cook during the six months of Expo. I called forty chefs in one day asking for their support. Most of them said, “Yes, we will come,” even before I posed the question. Far too often at our restaurants and the food festivals we attend, we are only speaking to the converted. I asked them all, “Wouldn’t it be refreshing to cook for people who had no idea who we were?” – Massimo Bottura

And so they came. The rock stars of modern cuisine – Ferran and Albert Adria, Alex Atala, Joan Roca, Rene Redzepi, Matt Orlando, Alain Ducasse – just to name a few.

Each chapter has a story about the chefs in question, often with funny anecdotes about their experience in Milan. You can almost hear Massimo’s voice, as you read through these nostalgic and warm memories. It’s his tribute to his friends, as much as a contribution to the good cause.

The recipes , some simple, some not so simple, have one common theme: making extraordinary food out of less then perfect ingredients. See, for instance, Ragu of Everything (Ferran & Albert Adria), Chicken on Sticks with Soy Sauce and Popcorn (Alex Atala), Salmorejo (Joan Roca), Hamburger alla Parmigiana with Eggplant chips and Apple Puree (Antonio, Alberto & Giovanni Santini).

The two I already tried are Summer Vegetables and Beans and Pasta with Mint and Breadcrumb Pesto, both by Massimo Bottura himself. The last one can also be viewed on Munchies. So many more to try!

 

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