The Italian Almanac

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A Dream Come True?

Italy's most famous chef is working at McDonald's. Gualtiero Marchesi, the first chef in Italy to earn three Michelin stars, announced he had created two hamburgers and a dessert for the Italian menu of the world's biggest fast food chain.

"I simply asked what and where young people were going to eat," said the Milanese master chef. "They were very simple questions which led to my decision to team up with McDonald's". The "refined" burgers will be available for three weeks in Italy only.

The "Vivace" (vivacious) is a burger topped with bacon, salted spinach, marinated onions and mayonaise with mustard seeds. The "Adagio" (slowly, like the musical term) is also a hamburger, topped with sweet-and-sour eggplant strips, sliced tomatoes and salted ricotta, all between a bun covered in sliced almonds. Both sandwiches go for 4.70 euros.

The dessert, called "Tiramisu alla Milanese", combines a piece of sweetbread, known as panettone, a coffee-flavored cream, mascarpone and candied almonds, and sells for 2.50 euros.

Roberto Masi, CEO of McDonald's Italia, said the collaboration with Marchesi, the man widely considered to be the godfather of modern Italian cuisine, was taking McDonald's in a decidedly innovative direction. "It's a dream come true".