Farewell to Gualtiero Marchesi, master of Italian cuisine
Gualtiero Marchesi, the father of modern Italian cuisine, has died at the age of 87 after a lengthy illness. He passed away in Milan, the city where he was born into a family of restaurateurs on March 19, 1930.
This past October, the “chef of chefs” stepped down from his chancellorship position at Alma, the International School of Italian Cuisine located in Colorno, Italy, near Parma, where he taught cooking and pastry classes.
A great innovator and revolutionary artist, Marchesi was able to bring Italian cuisine out of its provincialism, taking it to the heights of worldwide excellence (he became famous for his saffron risotto with gold).
Chefs like Enrico Crippa, Carlo Cracco, Andrea Berton, Davide Oldani, Paolo Lopriore, Daniel Canzian, Ernst Knam and Pietro Leemann learned from him, and he was the first Italian chef to get three Michelin stars. He later rebelled against the guide, spurning the star system.
This past summer, Marchesi was able to fulfill his dream of creating a retirement home for chefs, which is to be built in Varese, Italy, thanks to the foundation that bears his name.
Marchesi’s legacy truly lives on in the kitchens of Marchesino (his restaurant next door to La Scala in Milan) and L’Albereta in Franciacorta as well as with other initiatives like the academy that bears his name. There are also television programs, books and a recent documentary about his life called Marchesi: The Great Italian, which was released last May in Cannes.
During the Foodcommunity Awards at Milan’s Manzoni Theater this past December 14, Marchesi was given the “Il Maestro” prize, which was accepted by Gruppo Gualterio Marchesi CEO, Enrico Dandolo (who is also his son-in-law). Foodcommunity also had the honor of interviewing Gualtiero Marchesi during the Save the Brand 2016 event at Milan’s Museum of Science and Technology.