Text: Florentina Welley
The Museo Gucci in Florence now includes the Gucci Garden and the Osteria Gucci. Here, Massimo Bottura serves astonishing and extraordinary dishes.
A neon eye shines mysteriously from the façade of Palazzo Mercanzia, designed by Gucci’s Creative Director Alessandro Michele, which completes the 14 crests of arts on the façade with the new symbol of Guccification. In the Palazzo in Florence’s Piazza della Signoria, hedonism is in good hands, as Gucci’s fashion temple is located near the Gucci Osteria: the “Gucci Garden Galleria“.
Guccification, Paraphernalia, Cosmorama, Cinema da Camera, De Rerum Natura and Ephemera are the rooms’ codes, where the style-conscious can find special editions of shoes, bags, brocade coats or silver bomber jackets along with precious plates and bowls. With this new interactive “garden”, the luxury label brings a breath of fresh air to the former headquarters of the Commercial Court. Fashion, antiques, books, ephemera, contemporary art and eclectic pieces from fashion archives dating back as far as 1921, the year the label was founded, can be found on the second floor. The Osteria is located on the ground floor.
Food must speak to your heart.Massimo Bottura
Is the motto of our time emblazoned in golden letters on the ceiling of the luxurious Osteria of the Palazzo, built in 1337? The “La Canzona de’ sette pianeti” is a song of joy dedicated to Venus and life. So diners at the Osteria of “Gucci Garden” also pay homage to Lorenzo il Magnifico, patron of the arts, who wrote the above carnival song in 1490. It comes as no surprise that only one of the best chefs in the world is allowed to cook in the creative luxury kitchen, namely Massimo Bottura, famous for his Osteria Francescana in Modena
“Because we constantly travel the world, our cuisine reflects everything we see,
hear and taste”, Bottura says, “we search with open eyes for the astonishing and the
extraordinary.” And what does the threestar chef serve? On the menu, you can find cult Italian dishes such as the typical traditional dish Parmigiano Reggiano tortellini or mushroom risotto. Then it continues with tostadas and pork belly in bread towards Mexico and street food from Peru, prepared by the Colombian chef Ana Karim Lopez Kondo, wife of Bottura’s sous chef Taka Kondo. “Florence has been a melting pot of cultures since the Renaissance; we therefore have the oldest beef variety, the Chianina beef, on the menu, which was already enjoyed by the Etruscans”, the chef says. His dishes named after the artist Lucio Fontana are well-known. Will his famous dessert “Oops! I dropped the lemon tart!” be on the menu of the Osteria?
“Food must speak to your heart”, the cult chef says, “my restaurant is a type of laboratory of ideas.” This is why in 2012, Bottura cooked Parmesan by the ton with his risotto “cacio e pepe“. At the time, 300,000 cheese loaves had broken during the earthquake in Emilia Romagna. Everyone imitated him until the Parmesan was sold out. Real luxury is even preparing dishes from leftover food. And the founder of the “Food for Soul not-for-profit” project has incidentally done this in his temporary reffettorios for those in need until today.