A TALK WITH MASSIMO BOTTURA
Photography by Erik Wåhlström
It was September 2013 when Mutina transformed for 48 hours the wide spaces of industrial architecture of its headquarters, designed by Angelo Mangiarotti, in the ideal place to present Mews and Phenomenon, the collections designed respectively by the British duo Barber & Osgerby and the Japanese designer Tokujin Yoshioka .
During the evenings, special guests of the Italian and international design panorama let themselves be guided in a culinary journey dedicated to the Modena territory signed by chef Massimo Bottura. We met him for a few questions.
Food and ceramics may seem worlds far apart, what prompted you to accept the proposal of Mutina for the Path Dinner event?
I think that in Italy it is necessary to communicate the Made in Italy and the recognized excellence of some Italian companies, united by a huge passion. The synergy with the excellence of the territory is the most natural thing from which we need to draw the sap to build the future of our country.
You have an international exposure, you are often abroad in prestigious contexts yet still closely tied to the territory and culinary traditions. How was it working with a company that is 10 km from home and that has shown, like you have, to aim for excellence?
It sums it up in what I said earlier. On the other hand when you ask me to define my cooking, I often describe it as a territorial cookery, but a territory seen from 10 km away.
Patricia Urquiola had the role of being the coordinator, curating with extreme wisdom, the entire setting and transforming an industrial space in the ideal setting for the evening. How did you manage to harmonize your contribution to the project?
Patricia is amazing, I have always admired her and working with her was great because we both had a great energy and a great charge. Passion guided us, we imagined the event in 101 different ways before getting to see it as it was. Her work speaks of her, she is expressive and unique, I myself bought her tiles for the kitchen of one of my boys apartment.
We presented two new collections: Mews designed by British duo Barber & Osgerby and Phenomenon by Tokujin Yoshioka, a poet of Japanese design. How did the idea of revisiting some dishes for them come out? Are you going to propose them in your restaurant?
The inspiration for a new dish is only the attention towards your surroundings, humility and ability to listen. Propose a Fish and Chips with Guinness ice cream or the Unagi Maki was a choice exclusively dedicated and thought for the event that certainly has opened new horizons of work from which drawing inspiration.
The company headquarters, strong expression of industrial architecture that bears the signature of Angelo Mangiarotti, transformed into an exclusive location: what was you impression in working with the ‘Mutina family’ in this unusual setting?
The location was really amazing, the perception of each dish was enlarged by various settings created for the occasion. Between me and the ‘Mutina family’, there is always a great feeling and as soon as they proposed their idea, I immediately accepted, it’s always nice to work with them.
I was a real pleasure working with you as well, shall we repeat it soon then?
I always say that in my future there is just other future, so why not.