Ettore Bugatti is primarily known for building championship-winning race cars, such as the Type 35, but his interests extended far beyond the automotive industry. He developed airplanes, he sketched boats, and he experimented with various gadgets, including a pasta machine he designed himself. He was also an excellent cook, and Bugatti has cracked open its archives department to share some of its founder’s favorite recipes.
When he wasn’t in his workshop, or selling electric runabouts to the world’s elite, Bugatti liked to spend time in his kitchen fine-tuning recipes. He tested different ingredients, and he also mapped out the exact way each meal’s table needed to be set; he notably replaced flowers with baskets of exotic fruits, and he created his own cutlery set. Highly accurate sketches (pictured) were handed out to members of his staff to convey his instructions.
He served the folks he invited for Christmas the same dinner each year: minestrone as a starter, blazed duck breast with truffle purée and cassis sauce as a main course, and strawberry gratin for dessert. Bugatti listed the ingredients and the instructions in a post published on its media site. It’s certainly not a quick and easy meal to make for novice cooks, but it’s a lot faster and simpler than building a Chiron, which takes several weeks.
Enthusiasts who want to dive deeper into Bugatti’s ties to food need to travel to the Alsace region of France, the company’s historic home. Although he never operated his own restaurant, he convinced three of his friends to create an establishment called Clos Saint Odile in Obernai, a picturesque town about 15 minutes away from Molsheim and surrounded by vineyards, so that his customers would have a suitably upmarket place to dine in. It still exists today, though it’s called La Fourchette des Ducs, and it was awarded two stars in the Michelin Guide.
Keep your ears peeled. You may hear a W16 engine roaring to life in the nearby Atelier.