Gualtiero Marchesi

MILAN — Legendary Milanese chief Gualtiero Marchesi died in his native city on Tuesday after suffering cardiac arrest in his apartment. Marchesi was 87.

Born in March 1930, Marchesi was the first Italian chief to gain three Michelin stars, which he did in 1985 with his first restaurant located on the central Via Bonvesin de la Riva in Milan. There, Marchesi invented some of his signature, unconventional dishes, including the iconic saffron rice with edible gold leaves and “Open Ravioli,” that features ravioli filling used as a condiment for pasta.

Passionate about art, Marchesi also created the “Fish Dripping,” a fish dish inspired by Jackson Pollock’s drip-style painting technique.

In 2004, Marchesi established “Alma – the International School of Italian Cuisine,” which is located close to Parma in the Emilia-Romagna region, and most recently, he focused on the creation of a retirement home for chefs to be inaugurated in Varese, Italy in 2018.

Awards over the span of his career included the title of “Knight of the Italian Republic.” In 2008, Marchesi controversially rejected the Michelin rating system and “returned” his stars.

The chef is survived by his daughters Simona and Paola. A funeral service is expected to take place in Milan on Friday.