I just read a beautiful article in this December's Food & Wine, by Anya von Bremzen (of Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking: A Memoir of Food and Longing), about the Italian chef Massimo Bottura, whom she describes as a "philosopher-chef" who "bridges...folklore and post-molecularism." He says in his book Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef that "a recipe is just a starting point of reflection, always evolving."
There are some beautiful previews of his book at his publisher's site, http://www.phaidon.com/store/food-cook/massimo-bottura-never-trust-a-skinny-italian-chef-9780714867144/ . On the cool site about the 50 best restaurants in the world! is his restaurant that's #3! http://www.theworlds50best.com/list/1-50-winners/osteria-francescana . That restaurant's site is cool as well: http://www.osteriafrancescana.it/ .
He's a very good human being as well as chef -- he's put together a soup kitchen for the upcoming Milan Expo that will use leftovers from other pavilions to make delicious dishes to feed the poor. Other chefs have agreed to join him, including Alain Ducasse and Mario Batali.