London – by Chiara Fiorillo
Massimo Bottura, top Italian chef and founder of three-Michielin-star restaurant Osteria Francescana in Modena, will cook in London for the first time during London Food Month.
In June, “the poet chef” will launch his third Refettorio, run by his non-profit organisation Food for Soul. The project follows the success of similar initiatives during Expo 2015 in Milan and during last year’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
The location of the Refettorio has not been revealed yet, but its name has: it will be called the Refettorio Felix after Felix Byam Shaw, who inspired a campaign, run by the Evening Standard, to tackle food waste and hunger. The Felix Project will supply ingredients which otherwise would have been thrown away.
The Refettorio Felix will be open for lunch from Monday to Friday, aiming to serve 2,000 meals during London Food Month. Bottura will team up with a different British chef every day to produce healthy food for vulnerable people.
The Italian chef will also teach new recipes and how to create healthy meals with surplus food. He said: “Chefs have risen to celebrity heights. I believe we can use these heights to illuminate the most pressing issues facing society today.”
His non-profit organisation, Food for Soul, promotes wellbeing for people who are marginalised or excluded from society. “Chefs are invited to cook nutritious and healthy meals and demonstrate how ingredients from food waste can be nourishing. Volunteers are invited to serve guests at their table; this helps to promote social inclusion through human contact,” Bottura said. “The gesture of sitting down to a meal and breaking bread together is the first step towards rebuilding dignity and creating a community. A warm, seasonal, and delicious meal shared at a table with others is much more than the sum of the ingredients. It is a gesture of love,” he added.