What do you get when you pair one of the world's greatest chefs, some absurdly tasteful filmmaking, and the music of Sufjan Stevens, Fleet Foxes, and Bob Dylan? Il Ritorno, the Italian chef Massimo Bottura's paean to Emilia-Romagna and its culinary heritage. The short film, which René Redzepi presented in Bottura's absence at MAD FoodCamp, juxtaposes discussions of traditional regional dishes with their updated interpretations at his Milan restaurant Osteria Francescana (rated #4 in the world).
In addition to celebrating the people and places inextricably linked to a preparation like "coppa di testa," the film seems to hammer home the point many modernist chefs have been trying to make of late: all food, no matter how progressive, must have a cultural anchor of some kind. As Bottura himself noted in an email, "The Bob Dylan song, 'Girl From The North Country,' is very important...the distillation of memory, it's about looking back not in a nostalgic way but to get the best and bring it into the future."
Video: Il Ritorno