A bottega was established by a master artist or maestro dell’arte who accepted and trained young apprentices or garzoni for periods of several months to many years. The garzoni performed menial tasks until they proved themselves talented enough to learn the art of their master by copying and collaborating on his works. This system increased a master’s productivity and also resulted in the preservation and transfer of skills to the next generation of artists.
This tradition was clearly in the mind of Luca Appino, a chef and entrepreneur from the Piemonte region of Italy, when he established La Bottega di Luca, an upscale Italian grocer that later morphed into his well-loved casual fine dining venue. Over its 14-year history, La Bottega has seen hundreds of recipes created and products transformed by various chefs. Marco Avesani, who is from Verona, recently became the latest Head Chef entrusted with building on this tradition of excellence.