The preparations are in full swing for the naming of the Costa Favolosa  on 2nd July in Trieste, and such an event had to involve two of the world’s top ambassadors of Italian culinary traditions: Massimo Bottura and Carlo Cracco. Costa Cruises’ new flagship, the symbol of “Italianicity” around the world, will celebrate her debut with a gala dinner, based exclusively on the use of Italian products and recipes, created by two extraordinary, multiple Michelin star guests.

The restaurant Osteria Francescana by Massimo Bottura, in Modena (, and the restaurant Cracco, in Milan (, both shine with two Michelin stars. Among the many awards received, the restaurant Osteria Francescana is in 4th place and “chef's choice" of the “S. Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurants” ranking,  while the restaurant Cracco has 3 “forks” in the Gambero Rosso culinary guide.

The guest stars of the kitchen are thrilled about being part of such a majestic event like what will take place the night of 2nd July, when more than 2,000 illustrious Guests on board the Costa Favolosa will attend the magnificent and memorable gala dinner. As real artists, Bottura and Cracco could do nothing less than ‘live’ the ship to draw inspiration for the menu of the naming of the Costa Favolosa, a tribute to “Italianicity” and to Made in Italy.

Bottura says - “For me the Costa Favolosa is like a pavilion about Italy at the biennial of Venice, but in movement; like the itinerant ambassador of Italy around the world. And I look at it with the eyes of a child or those of Fellini and it’s like a dream, like in Amarcord…”. With this in mind Bottura chose dishes that remind him of his childhood in Modena, like Anolini with Parmesan Reggiano cheese; in this case, a pork-free variation of Anolini resting on a pure cream bed of Parmesan Reggiano cheese. Bottura also picked a dish made with cod, along with a variety of traditional ingredients representing various Italian regions such as creamed potatoes with hazelnuts from Piemonte and Sorrento lemons.

Veal medallion with traditional tuna sauce, Caprese salad and Asparagus with Eggs are the dishes that Carlo Cracco chose to interpret the menu/masterpiece dedicated to the Unification of Italy. “I feel that creating a menu with close links to such traditional dishes, even if they are only 150 years old, is a tribute to our roots and to our country’s culinary culture, with all its various local facets. Culture that when brought to a ship like this one becomes the pride and history of our land”, points out Cracco.

The close cooperation between Cracco and Bottura is supervised by Stefano Fontanesi, Corporate Executive Chef of Costa Cruises - “For me it was an honour to work with Cracco and Bottura. I acted as a liaison between cooking for a few dozen persons, something that they were used to, and cooking for a major Gala dinner. The 2 chefs are also getting practice in using our “hi-tech” galley; a real joint effort that enriches everyone”. In fact, Bottura and Cracco admit that this gala dinner will be a real challenge during which they will have to convey all their skills and expertise to much more than just a few dozen tables.

But the challenge doesn’t stop here! As Fontanesi recalls in relation to Costa Cruises’ culinary style - “We have an international clientele and to maintain our distinctive mark, meaning the Italian style, we start from what are typically Italian ingredients, such as olive oil and Parmesan cheese; obviously, we don’t neglect international cuisine, considering the needs of our Guests who come from all parts of the globe, to which we add our Italian dishes. That’s because at Costa Cruises we are always 100% Italian.”

The excellent quality of the ingredients selected and used on each cruise in preparing foods, together with the know-how and creativity of our highly-skilled chefs, will transform the meals on board into special experiences not only on the Costa Favolosa but on each of the 15 ships in Costa Cruises’ fleet.

The wines to be served during Costa Favolosa gala dinner were selected with the same exacting care that Costa Cruises uses when choosing the wine list on board all fleet vessels. In fact, in addition to a select choice of champagnes, Italian sparkling wines and doc wines (Controlled Designation of Origin), the wine cellars on board the Costa Favolosa and the other ships of the group include 2003 and 2004 vintages of Amarone Aneri riserva Stella, a wine of noble origins, appreciated throughout the world, with an unmistakeable bouquet for which each bottle has a label with the name of the ship.