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Chefs of the Decade – Italy

By Zahra Al-Kateb

By Andy Hayler

Past Decade

Massimo Bottura

There is little doubt that Massimo Bottura has a global influence. The articulate chef with an interest in art conjures up modern interpretations of Italian food from his 3 star Michelin restaurant Osteria Francescana in Modena, and in 2016 was ranked number 1 worldwide on the “Top 50 Restaurants list”.

Pino Cuttaia

Head chef of La Madia in Sicily, Pino Cuttaia trained in the north of Italy but opened his restaurant on the island where he was born. His two star Michelin dishes celebrate the superb local produce in innovative ways.

Niko Romito

Reale in the Abruzzo mountans is a long way from the traditional culinary centres of Italy, but Niko Romito’s 3 Michelin star cuisine, based on humble rather than luxury ingredients, is having a wide influence.

Nadia Santini

With three Michelin stars since 1996 at her countryside Dal Pescatore restaurant, Nadia Santini is without doubt one of the top chefs in Italy. Eating in this rural setting feels almost like a family meal, but with a great chef in the kitchen.

Fulvio Pierangelini

Although his two star Michelin Tuscan restaurant Gambero Rossi shut in 2009, chef Fulvio Pierangelini still has a profound influence on Italian cuisine. These days he spreads his expertise through consulting, for example as executive chef of Rocco Forte hotels.

Next Decade

Massimiliano Alajmo

The youngest ever three Michelin star chef at the age of 28, Massimiliano Alajmo runs Le Calandre in Rubano, west of Venice. His cooking shows complete mastery of both classical and modernist Italian cuisine.

Francesco Bracali

Tuscan chef Francesco Bracali was in 2000, the youngest European chef to hold a Michelin star. His restaurant Bracali now has a second star, applying modern culinary approaches to traditional Tuscan dishes and produce.

Norbert Niederkofler

Norbert Niederkofler is head chef of two Michelin starred St Hubertus in the ski resort of San Cassiano. He makes the most of his surroundings, using local ingredients and reinventing the recipes of the mountain region.

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Enrico Crippa

Set in the heart of Alba, Piazza Duomo is the showcase for Enrico Crippa’s modern take on Italian cuisine. Although every conceivable technique is employed in the kitchen, the chef is still rooted in the local area, his two local farms supplying produce to the restaurant.

Lorenzo Cogo

He has gained a Michelin star at the age of just 25, and has worked at prestigious kitchens around the world. He runs El Coq at Vicenza in Veneto, which focuses on a modern take on local ingredients, such as his dish of beetroot prepared five ways.

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