Italian chef Massimo Bottura has branched out into the hotel industry. Or rather, the luxury country house industry.
Bottura, of three-Michelin star Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy, and his partner Lara Gilmore have turned an 18th-century property in the Emilian countryside into the 12-room Casa Maria Luigia. A blend of vintage and modern, the house boasts a contemporary art collection, cocktail lounge, swimming pool and gardens.
Unsurprisingly, given its owners, the venue is also home to a covetable dining experience. Francescana at Maria Luigia has been curated by Bottura. The restaurant sits in a renovated carriage house and features work by artist Damien Hirst, an open kitchen and three communal dining tables designed by Alessandro Mendini. The seasonal 9-course tasting menu (€450pp) features signature dishes from Osteria Francescana.
This new venture is the latest in a line of projects by Bottura. In 2016, he founded the non-profit Food for Soul association to help combat food waste and empower communities. That same year he also set up Il Tortellante in Modena as a way of supporting young people with special needs. Bottura and Gilmore’s son Charlie has special needs and the restaurant was created through the idea of Modenese grandmothers and matriarchs teaching young people to make tortellini. The shop now provides pasta to the public. Bottura is also set to open a community restaurant for homeless people in Sydney, Australia alongside food rescue charity Oz Harvest.