The story of Gualtiero Marchesi, unanimously considered the founder of the ‘new Italian cuisine’ and, in the opinion of many, the best-known Italian chef in the world, began in Milan where he was born in 1930. In 1986 he was the first Italian chef to receive 3 Michelin stars, the ultimate culinary accolade, which were subsequently reduced to 2 in 1997.
In June 2008, however, in a controversy with the Michelin system, Marchesi also became the first chef ever to famously denounce the award. He was critical of the stressful burden placed upon the chefs and he lashed out at the French guide explaining that he no longer wanted points for his new restaurant, ‘Il Marchesino’ at La Scala, only reviews and ratings.
Alongside the Marchesi Fondazione, set up to promote the arts through taste, he established the Accademia Marchesi, ‘a place for study, training and experimentation - he claimed proudly - where he could teach young cooks and promote the principles of healthy eating’.
As a true innovator he was also the mentor for today's most talented 'chefs' (a definition that Marchesi did not like, preferring to called a 'cook'): many of the contemporary kitchen celebs have passed through his doors - Enrico Crippa, Andrea Berton, Carlo Cracco, Davide Oldani, Ernst Knam and Pietro Leemann to name a few.
Find out more about the story of the founder of the new Italian cuisine by checking out the video interview on Raiplay.