- Italian Michelin-star chef Massimo Bottura has started streaming his family dinners on Instagram while his country is on lockdown because of the coronavirus pandemic.
- The series, called “Kitchen Quarantine,” shows Bottura and his family cooking dinner with common household ingredients.
- Bottura is one of countless chefs worldwide whose restaurants have closed amid the coronavirus outbreak.
- View more episodes of Business Insider Today on Facebook.
The coronavirus pandemic has shuttered restaurants left and right — and the top-ranked restaurant in the world was no exception.
But amid weeks of self-isolation in Modena, Italy, Michelin-star chef Massimo Bottura has found a new way to delight his fans: by streaming his family meals on Instagram.
Bottura, whose restaurant Osteria Francescana was ranked No. 1 in the world in 2018, recently began posting live Instagram videos in which he and his family cook dinner together using common household ingredients.
He calls it “Kitchen Quarantine,” and it goes live every night at 8 p.m. local time.
Italy is one of the hardest-hit countries by the virus, and its 60 million residents have been on lockdown since March 8.
“It’s surreal,” Bottura said in an interview with Business Insider Today. “I just opened the window and I don’t see anyone. I didn’t hear any noise.”
“We never experienced this kind of time. So we have to do as much as we can in this time, and share in your isolated way, share with the world some positive attitude.”
With limited trips to the grocery store, Bottura uses ingredients at hand to make green vegetable curry, tortellini in cream sauce, guacamole, risotto with asparagus and peas, pasta with tomato sauce, eggplant parmigiana, and Japanese beef ramen soup.
“Tonight, we’re going to do a show in which I’m going to open the refrigerator,” Bottura told Business Insider Today. “I really see a lot of stuff that is left over, like four pieces of bread, half a can of honey. It’s like, the most simple thing to clean the refrigerator.”
Each episode begins with a friendly reminder to “wash your hands,” and includes guest appearances from Lara Gilmore, his wife and fellow restaurant proprietor, their son Charlie Bottura, and their daughter Alexa Bottura, who films the episodes.
“Charlie loves to be part of it,” Alexa Bottura said of her brother. “He’s a diva, so he really loves to be in the main shot.”
It’s an informal cooking class, unlike Massimo Bottura’s MasterClass lesson series.
“This is not a MasterClass,” he said. “This is more to share with people from all over the world, this idea of social gesture, this idea of bringing some joy in the families that are following us.”
Instead, it’s a peek into Bottura’s life as he cooks a family meal, interacts with his family, and answers cooking questions from fans.
Bottura closed all of his restaurants around the world, including top-rated Osteria Francescana and Gucci Osteria da Massimo Bottura, which opened its doors in Los Angeles in early February.
Bottura kept all of his staff of more than 100 on the payroll despite the worldwide economic slowdown.
“There is a big discussion all around the world on the hospitality industry,” Bottura said. “We decided to keep all our staff, because we are sure that it’s going to be a big comeback.”
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