“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life” – Pablo Picasso said once.
And it’s through art that Karime López, chef at Gucci Osteria di Massimo Bottura – the new restaurant located inside Palazzo della Mercanzia in Florence, also home to the Gucci Museum – is able to transform ordinary ingredients into extraordinary meals. For Karime, art has the power of restore dignity and value, and to enable transformation.
When she was only 19, Karime moved from Mexico to Paris to study art, a decision that has deeply shaped the way she looks at the world. During her studies, she realized her love for beauty in all its forms and expressions – from a painting to the beautifully decorated window of a pastry shop. Eventually, cooking became her own way of creating art and expressing beauty.
As she met Massimo Bottura, she immediately related to his idea of beauty and to the transformative role it plays in the world. In a way, Karime’s dishes embody the same Power of Beauty promoted by Food for Soul and the Refettorios: a universal language able to inspire people and unveil the hidden potential of everything around us.
Art, just like food, can be a powerful communication tool. ‘Pollock’ – the dish from Gucci Osteria that Karime chose to share with us – is the perfect example of that: “Like Massimo, I often wonder what we can do with the food surplus that we have in the kitchen,” explains Karime. “This is why at Gucci Osteria we created ‘Pollock’, a dish that uses the scraps of vegetables such as beets, tomatoes and peppers to prepare sauces and the raviolo pasta. Taking inspiration from the famous paintings of the American artist we created a dish that is a whirlwind of colours and a manifesto against food waste.”
The plate becomes a canvas for Karime to express herself. Her suggestion is to look at the refrigerator and the pantry at home in the same creative way, appreciating and celebrating the full potential of each ingredient. Just like Pollock, known for his innovative Action Painting technique, this holiday season, Karime is asking us to break the mold and transform the act of cooking in a real experience to be fully lived. As Pollock used to say: “I have no fear of making changes, destroying the image, because the painting has a life of its own. I try to let it come through.”
The “dripping” technique used by Pollock consisted in randomly spilling the colours onto the canvas. In the same way, Karime shows the unexpressed potential behind bruised tomatoes, peppers and beets, by highlighting their light, colour and taste.
Unleash your creativity and share your creations with us!
Yellow Datterino Tomato Sauce
In a saucepan fry oil, garlic and basil, add the tomatoes and cook for 20 minutes. Then blend, sift and lightly salt the sauce.
Red Pepper Sauce
Cook the pepper, without the seeds, for 40 minutes in the oven at 180 degrees. Once cooked, peel it and roast it in a pan with oil, garlic and laurel leaf. Remove the laurel and blend it, then lightly salt.
Blanch the chard for 2 minutes in salted water, then cool it in iced water. Chop half of the chard for the filling, and blend the other half with the cooking water, until it becomes a smooth sauce.
Flavor the milk with the macis until it simmers; simultaneously prepare the cornstarch and butter base. Pour the milk, mix with a whisk until it becomes smooth, then lightly salt.
Disks of pasta (3 or 4)
Mix the ingredients and, once ready, let the mixture rest in the film for 30 minutes. Roll the dough about 1 millimeter, cut it using a round shape of the desired size and cook each disk of pasta in salted water for 2 minutes.
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
How to serve
Place a disk of pasta on the plate, add the filling and cover with another disk of pasta. Proceed this way until you have no disks left. Cover the disks with the sauces, letting them drop on the dish in a random way – just like Jackson Pollock did with his colors.