by Marco Gemelli, Penelope Lisi
Around the world with a brand named Bottura
It’s called “osteria” but it’s a place where the most diverse gourmet inspirations come together: at Palazzo della Mercanzia overlooking Piazza della Signoria – where an artistic nuptial is celebrated, that between the genius of the 3-starred chef Massimo Bottura and Alessandro Michele, the creative director of the maison – Gucci Garden is a kind of fashionable and contemporary Eden which becomes a temple of earthly pleasures. A celebration of nature and beauty, where fashion and cuisine blend into a bouquet of colours, flavours and fragrances. If it’s quality that reigns in the fabrics, decorations and furnishing in the boutique, in the kitchen each dish is the outcome of what is tops regarding raw materials at reasonable prices. The fairytale aura of the garden welcomes the guests of the small but airy restaurant, full of plants and flowers which entwine on the floor, climb up the staff’s aprons and lay on the Ginori porcelain. The menu is a journey around the world entrusted to the young chef Karime Lopez, Bottura’s faithful right-hand. In fact, there’s very little Florence in the menu: tradition mingles with modernity on a tour around the world, giving life to a selection of dishes embodying the multiculturalism of today’s world and of the gang at Gucci Osteria. We set off from Emilia Romagna, chef Bottura’s native land with tortelli stuffed with ham, cotechino, veal and mortadella in a sauce made from Parmesan cheese seasoned for 36 months, creamed only with water. Then we fly East with the Taka Bun (by Taka Kondo, sous chef at Osteria Francescana), a soft steamed bread bun with pork belly savoured with a secret sauce and a spicy one, the fat skimmed off with red cabbage and raspberry vinegar and freshened with fresh coriander and green apples. The chef, Karime, on the other hand, brings Mexico at table in the shape of a marinated bonito on a creamy avocado, covered with a crispy corn tostada with radish carpaccio, avocado drops and hibiscus cream. And finally, the Chianina hot dog, the sacred and the profane: first class meat, minced to become the Tuscanised gourmet version of the famous American street food, laid within a brioche burger bun covered by crispy onions and sauerkraut, with strictly homemade mayonnaise and BBQ sauce on the side. As for desserts, Gucci Osteria takes us to New York with a black cherry “Europeanised” cheesecake where the fruit – in the form of an ice cream and a sorbet – floats on a buckwheat crumble in a lake of creamy, vanilla-scented cheese. The curtain falls returning to the homeland with a Spritz sorbet fruit salad: the perfect finish of a culinary and cultural itinerary, through elegant and tasty dishes, strong and sharp tastes. A taste bud-stimulating journey around the world, from exotic to traditional, sitting at table in the heart of Florence.
Piazza della Signoria, 10
Tel. 39 055 75927038