Happy birthday Gualtiero Marchesi!

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Gualtiero Marchesi (March 19, 1930) is a master of Italian cuisine and the first non-French chef ever to be awarded three Michelin stars. Marchesi gained his culinary expertise by working his way through several hotel kitchens throughout Europe, eventually opening a small hotel in Milan. His first restaurant was Via Bonvesin de la Riva in Milan, where he earned his Michelin stars. Marchesi has since opened several other restaurants and established the Euro-Toques International, the European Community of chefs. In 2011, Marchesi became the first celebrity chef to design a hamburger for McDonald's.

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Gualtiero Marchesi spent much of his career far away from the foods of his native Italy. For a long time, he refused to try to his hand at refining Italian cuisine because, as he says, "Italian cuisine was essentially domestic cooking... too vulgar, too common." Marchesi once told Time magazine, "Why should I make pasta like the others? People expect research from me, discoveries." To solve his self-imposed dilemma, Marchesi eventually began experimenting with pasta in earnest, introducing spices and textures from around the world. His signature dishes now includes gold-leaf risotto and cuttlefish ink.

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Despite the fact that Marchesi's career has earned considerable renown, and he has been awarded several honors for his contributions to haute cuisine, Marchesi considers himself a man with simple tastes and thinks of himself as a cook, not a chef. In fact, Marchesi spent much of his life unaware of his culinary talents, and spent a few years training to be a concert musician. It didn't work out, but he ended up marrying his piano teacher.

GUALTIERO MARCHESI e la grande cucina italiana from fabrizio spucches on Vimeo.

Along with mentoring several promising chefs and establishing the Italian Culinary Academy in New York, Marchesi recently created the Fondazione Gualtiero Marchesi, which aims to teach children about the arts through taste. Marchesi is also known for dismissing the Michelin star rating system, having returned his third star after the Michelin Guide removed two of his stars. Michelin responded by removing him from their guidebooks, which Marchesi called a "beheading" in response to "lese-majeste". Marchesi also sparked some controversy in 2011, when he created two hamburgers and a dessert for McDonald's. His restaurant Gualtiero Marchesi di San Pietro all'Orto in Milan is also a cooking academy, and in 2001, he opened Ostaria dell'Orso, tlocated in a palace dating back to 1400 AD.

 

via Marchesi's YouTube channel

Additional Info

  • Birthday Date: Wednesday, 19 March 2014
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