Italy’s first three Michelin starred chef dies aged 87

The  Staff Canteen

Gualtiero Marchesi, the first Italian chef to obtain three Michelin stars passed away on 26 December, 2017 aged 87.

The pioneering chef, often referred to as the founder of modern Italian cuisine, is regarded as one of the greatest of his time having helped train some of Italy’s most renowned chefs including Enrico Crippa, Davide Oldani, Carlo Cracco and Andrea Berton.

He was the first non French chef to receive the coveted three Michelin stars and was the first to hand them back after finding fault with the guide’s scoring system.

Born into the restaurant business (his parents ran the hotel and restaurant L'Albergo del Mercato in Via Bezzecca) Gualtiero opened his first restaurant on Via Bonvesin de la Riva in Milan in 1977. Influenced by French techniques, the restaurant became infamous for not serving pasta. Regardless, the chef earned his first star within a year followed by a second a year later. His third, however, did not arrive until seven years later making him the first Italian chef to be rewarded the accolade.

He closed the restaurant in 1993 to open a restaurant/hotel in Franciacorta returning to Milan in 2008. During this time the chef operated a string of restaurants including the three Michelin starred Ristorante di Erbusco, Gualtiero Marchesi di San Pietro all’Orto in Milan in 1998 and in 2001 he took over from Hostaria dell’Orso in Rome.

Throughout his career the talented chef has achieved numerous awards including The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Lifetime Achievement Award.

Gualtiero is also one of the founders of the large international chef’s association, Euro-Toques, and is part of the culinary academy, ALMA situated near Parma.

In 2008 the Michelin starred chef made headlines for denouncing Michelin’s scoring system wishing to return his stars.

More recently the chef had worked on opening a retirement home for chefs and in 2011 he designed two burgers for McDonald’s; one based on Lombardy flavours which included sautéed spinach, bacon and whole-grain mustard while the other incorporated aubergine mousse, ricotta, tomato and almonds.

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 2nd January 2018

Italy’s first three Michelin starred chef dies aged 87