LONDON – For three days at the end of June, Sotheby’s galleries played host not only to some exceptional works of art from the Contemporary Evening auction, but also extraordinary food from one of the world’s greatest chefs: Massimo Bottura.

Bottura’s Michelin three-star restaurant Osteria Francescana – recently been named number two on the list of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants – was brought to London from Modena and was available, strictly by reservation only, for three nights.

Transporting the conceptual premises of contemporary art into the kitchen, Bottura juxtaposes tradition and innovation with art and design, drawing inspiration from a myriad of avant-garde contemporary artists.

The seven-course tasting menu was carefully selected by Bottura to provoke a dialogue between food and art. Dishes on offer include the Damien Hirst-inspired “Beautiful Psychedelic Spin-painted veal, not flame grilled” – a beef fillet, first marinated in milk, and then served with tricolour sauces purposefully spun like the artist’s spin-paintings. The sixth course, “Oops! I Dropped the Lemon Tart” pays homage to Ai Weiwei’s radical work Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn (1995). The final course, “Camouflage: Hare in the Woods” was inspired by Pablo Picasso, who saw Cubism in a painted military truck. 

Sotheby’s galleries were hung with artworks from the Contemporary Art Evening Auction, with pieces by artists such as Gerhard Richter, Sigmar Polke, Lucio Fontana, Piero Manzoni and Wolfgang Tillmans, who have influenced Bottura’s conceptual approach to cooking. 

Here are some highlights from the evening – including some exclusive behind-the-scenes shots.

The place setting that greeted guests to Osteria Francescana at Sotheby’s. © Gideon Hart.
Paintings by Sigmar Polke, Christopher Wool and Rudolf Stingel were among the many works adorning the walls of the pop-up restaurant. © Gideon Hart.
Chef Massimo Bottura prepares his Damien Hirst-inspired dish “Beautiful psychedelic spin-painted veal, not flame grilled.” © Gideon Hart.
The finishing touches applied to the Hirst veal. © Gideon Hart.
“Beautiful psychedelic spin-painted veal, not flame grilled,” inspired by Damien Hirst. © Gideon Hart.
The Osteria Francescana team at work in Sotheby’s kitchens. © Gideon Hart.
Parmesan, aged for 30 months was served with Bottura’s own Villa Manodori Artigianale balsamic vinegar. © Gideon Hart.
One of Bottura’s signature-dishes, the revolutionary dessert, “Oops I dropped the lemon tart.” © Gideon Hart.
Massimo Bottura. © Gideon Hart.

You can also watch Nine lessons in life, art and cuisine with Michelin-starred chef Massimo Bottura, CNN's video filmed in our galleries.