Massimo Bottura, chef of three-Michelin-starred Osteria Francescana, is diversifying his portfolio — with an all-day museum restaurant. This week, the award-winning Italian chef opened up Gucci Osteria in the brand new Gucci Garden in Florence, Italy.
The Gucci Garden officially opens to the public January 10 inside the Palazzo della Mercanzia, which formerly housed the Gucci Museo. It isn’t a garden, but an interactive, Gucci-themed museum. Or, as Gucci Creative Director Alessandro Michele put it in a press release: “The garden is real, but it belongs above all to the mind, populated with plants and animals: like the snake, which slips in everywhere, and in a sense, symbolizes a perpetual beginning and a perpetual return.”
Now, fashion fans can find galleries filled with Gucci clothes (both contemporary and vintage), video installations, art (including a “giant nineteenth-century equestrian oil portrait”), a boutique — and chef Bottura’s newest restaurant.
Osteria Gucci will serve “an entirely new menu” influenced by Bottura’s travels. “Traveling the world, our kitchen interacts with everything we see, hear and taste,” the chef says in a press release. “With eyes wide open, we look for the unexpected and next éclat.”
Reuters reports that the menu at the 50-seat restaurant will include Italian dishes like Parmigiano Reggiano tortellini and mushroom risotto, but also Peruvian-inspired tostadas and pork belly buns, all for around 20-30 euros per item. “The restaurant is a reminder that Florence has always been a center of cultural exchange, particularly during the Renaissance,” Bottura says.
Gucci CEO Marco Bizzarri and Bottura are childhood friends, according to Vogue Italia, and Bizzarri invited the chef to take over the ground floor of the historic palazzo. Chef Ana Karime Lopez Kondo, who is married to Osteria Francescana sous chef Taka Kondo, will run the kitchen.
It’s a glitzy opening for Bottura, who also has an upcoming Dubai hotel restaurant in the works: In recent years, the chef has worked to build a network of charity-focused Refettorios, establishing these chef-driven, food waste-fueled soup kitchens in Milan, London, and Rio de Janeiro, with plans for Paris. But Gucci Osteria, which opens to coincide with Florence’s menswear trade show Pitti Uomo, will evidently cater to a completely different crowd.
• The Gucci Garden [Official site]
• Feeding the fashionistas: Gucci turns to fine dining [Reuters]
• Gucci Osteria by Bottura: l’opening a Pitti [Vogue Italia]