Canadian Chef Guiding Prestigious Bottura Casa Maria Luigia

In a male-dominated ambiance, Jessica Rosval is showing that birthplace is just a notion. Breaking cliches wide open, a female chef is putting her mouth where her passions are.

By Andrea Grignaffini
Fri, Jun 04

248 views


tagAlt.Jessica Rosval cooking Cover
tagAlt.Jessica Rosval profile carrots 2 tagAlt.Jessica Rosval profile cooking 2 tagAlt.Casa Maria Luigia 4 tagAlt.Jessica

Jessica Rosval Chef Casa Maria Luigia (Modena, Italy)


The theme of “pink quotas” in Italy is perennially at the forefront of many a conversation on Italian chefs.  Women’s Day made special note of the current statistics on women in the kitchens of fine restaurants - sadly denoting data anything but comforting on the evolution of an equal proportion of culinary professionals.
 

 

HAUTE CUISINE’S INCLUSION OF WOMEN

Haute cuisine is an employment field registering one of the lowest figures of female employees, amounting to 4% representation throughout the world’s starred restaurants.  This number is likely a reflection of the baggage the industry continues to carry with it from its past, a time where machismo ruled the roost.  It’s quite believable that this attitude of male dominance is still the case in many realities today.

There is an immense wealth of great cooks who are continuously more prepared to be professional while still maintaining prolific activity in a social field.  To ensure that theirs is not just a sterile protest, these chefs daily display their tremendous talents, and show us why their individual dignities must be respected in order to achieve equality and social justice even within a culinary scheme.


If you want to see how women also face the world of wine and their inclusion in it, follow the article Is Inclusivity the Real Deal for Women in the World of Wine?  Let's take a peek together in a world that gives the impression of being inclusive - let's see if it is in fact welcoming.
 

 

WHO IS JESSICA ROSVAL?

Such is the combative case of Jessica Rosval, Head Chef of Massimo Bottura's luxurious Bed & Breakfast Casa Maria Luigia.

Impressively, Rosval has been cooking for 20 of her 35 years.  Included in her experience has been 7 years of cooking alongside and learning from Italian maestro Massimo Bottura, creator of the Osteria Francescana.  This temple of Italian food has been named the world’s best restaurant twice, in 2016 and 2018, and is the holder of 3 prestigious Michelin stars.

At just 15 years of age, Jessica began her culinary adventure in Montreal, where she began working in a local Italian restaurant.

Rosval continued her culinary training for many years following this first experience.  Her path eventually brought her into contact with Melissa Craig, in the hinterlands of British Columbia.

Almost by accident, Rosval came to Italy to follow her training, and it’s here that  a chance encounter led her into contact with Massimo Bottura.

The epiphany-like moment led to a radical change in Rosval’s culinary perceptions, and led her to undertake a few days of experimenting with the Italian food temple.

Of course, those few days eventually became years, and following a distinguished career as Chef de Partie at Bottura’s Osteria Francescana, Rosval was asked to personally undertake the role of directing and managing the prestigious Casa Maria Luigia.


Women have also fared interesting in the worlds of fine Italian and global extra-virgin olive oil.  Read Inspiring Women: Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Boosts Women for more information on how women are making their mark here as well as in kitchens and vineyards.
 

 

ROSVAL’S IMPACT ON CASA MARIA LUIGIA

Rosval has fortunately been able to express a great amount of creativity and innovation during her experience with Casa Maria Luigia, particularly during the restaurant’s Sunday Brunch meal.  Here, Rosval expresses her entirely unique version of a classic dish, called Bread, Butter, and…

In Rosval’s interpretation, we see Rosval connect the dots with a smoked oyster selection.  Different approaches from country to country for this classic dish, Rosval’s method presents marinated oysters, as well as a wine vinegar-aged oyster served with fresh horseradish.  A most unusually, wildly-unique approach to a time-worn favorite.
 

 

SINGING ROSVAL’S MULTIPLE PRAISES

Lest we forget, Rosval is also a master at multi-tasking in the kitchen, handling stovetops, ovens, direct burners and smokers.  This uncanny ability to visualize the end result from a variety of different approaches makes her a champion in a niche field generally dominated by men.  The passion, talent, and willpower that Jessica contains and puts to good use, as well as her individual touch of genius loci make her North American roots all the more evident.
 

 

ROSVAL AND THE NEED TO BE ACTIVE SOCIALLY

Jessica can certainly be considered to be on the front lines active social justice.  Her role as Culinary Director of the Association for the Integration of Women, lets her implement the organization’s mission to "provide women with the resources they need to put down roots and flourish."  As her role as Culinary Director, Jessica shares her technical, culinary knowledge with women coming from all corners of the world.  But it’s not just a one-way road - the women Jessica works with in turn contribute to the learning process by enriching Jessica’s kitchen with their own ethnic nuances and traditions.

The women are able to integrate into contemporary Italian and European culture with greater ease.  Jessica finds this role and activity to be a source of continuous discovery.  This melting pot of cultures will find further progress in the shape of a Modena-based restaurant that will be open to the public shortly.


But not all Italians love the dishes proposed by their favorite chefs.  Let's see how osterias and trattorias are promoting interesting and untraditional cuisine.  Read now Modified Italian Cooking that Makes Italians "Mad at Food" and see how you too fit into this trend.


Jessica lives both her professional and socially active world as a sort of virtuous (instead of vicious) cycle.  Rosval has recognized that the ability that Massimo Bottura, Jessica’s mentor, had to recognize her talent could be applied to the women Jessica teachesPerhaps in the field of women learning Jessica’s craft, a new star will emerge to become the fêted star of the culinary world tomorrow.

By paying it forward, Jessica is carrying on the noble tradition of recognizing her roots, and giving back to the community of women eager to make their own mark in the contemporary world of haute cuisine - a goal that will ultimately lead to a more level playing field and further representation for women in a world accustomed to the male presence, but more ready than they might think for a change of scenery.


Don't forget to register for Mamablip's weekly newsletter for updates on all the exciting newest Mamablip Blog articlesrecipes and other wine news from Italy.


all.sign in to leave a review

tagAlt.Jessica Rosval specialty dish 6 tagAlt.Casa Maria Luigia 7 tagAlt.Jessica Rosval specialty dish 8 tagAlt.PIAVE DOP Interview Cows Cover

How Piave DOP is a Cheesy Gift that Keeps Giving

Piave DOP cheese brings consumers into direct contact with nature. The many delicious facets of Piave DOP cheese keep giving us a taste of Italy’s nature.

26/07/2021 | 31 views
By Sara Porro
tagAlt.Verona hills wine country Cover

Ripasso Wines: Standard-Bearer of Classic Red Veronese Wines

Ripasso wines provide yet another Valpolicella wine to love. Learn where to taste, eat, and sleep in your exploration of Ripasso wines.

17/07/2021 | 232 views
By Lele Gobbi
tagAlt.Jazz Wine Montalcino Cover

Jazz&Wine for Your Montalcino Summer Music Soundtrack

One of Montalcino’s longest-standing music festivals has a terrific partner in Brunello wine. Learn about Jazz&Wine’s outstanding history in Montalcino.

14/07/2021 | 72 views
By Francesca Ciancio
tagAlt.Montalcino weekend what to do Cover

Much More than just a Wine Weekend in Montalcino

Tuscany’s Montalcino is famous for wine, but we love its history and natural beauty too. Montalcino brings wine, food, history, culture, architecture to your doorstop.

11/07/2021 | 128 views
By Lele Gobbi
tagAlt.Desenzano Valtènesi 36 hours Cover

Valtènesi for a Victorious Weekend Getaway

If you’ve got 36 hours to spend for q quick getaway, consider Northern Italy’s Valtènesi region. Great food, culture, and people create marvelous ambiance and wines.

09/07/2021 | 163 views
By Sara Porro
tagAlt.Rocca delle Macìe Sustainable Cover

Rocca delle Macìe Dedicated to Improving their World

Grasping the value of internal resources makes Rocca delle Macìe a special wine estate. Learn how grassroots investment ensures a rosy future for this Chianti winery.

06/07/2021 | 145 views
By Francesca Ciancio
tagAlt.People cooking together summertime Cover

Food Safety: Battlefront Against Unpleasant Ailments

How to make sure your food is safely stored following simple household rules. Learn what to avoid and what to follow in the world of food safety.

04/07/2021 | 88 views
By Sara Porro
tagAlt.Berlucchi cover 61 on ice Cover

Berlucchi 2021: celebrating 60 years of innovation

A Franciacorta wine estate powerhouse also sets the bar high for eco-friendly wine-making. Not just bio wines, but bio-friendly wine creation leading the way.

30/06/2021 | 110 views
By Francesca Ciancio
tagAlt.Umami random foods Cover

The Secret World of Umami, Your Fifth Flavor Profile

We’ve all likely heard of umami in a culinary context. What exactly is Umami, and how does it affect our taste sensations? Learn all about this fifth sense.

28/06/2021 | 98 views
By Sara Porro
tagAlt.Lingalaks Norwegian fish farm Cover

Salmon On the Rise - Quite Possibly, the World’s Favorite Fish

Norwegian Salmon is much better than you think - just look at consumption numbers. Learn how Norwegian Salmon has a lot to teach the industry and eager consumers alike.

25/06/2021 | 135 views
By Francesca Ciancio