Massimo Bottura may have three Michelin Stars to his name, but he’s certainly showing no signs of slowing down to enjoy a celeb lifestyle.
In fact, the celebrated Italian chef has embarked on a new project which could change how we look at food waste.
Lats year, Bottura was voted the number one chef in the world, and he has since become somewhat of a household name. The svelte and enigmatic 54 -year-old has been developing a project known as Refettorio; a restaurant with a real difference. The concept is to use food that is listed as unfit for sale to produce healthy and delicious dishes for the homeless and disadvantaged. The concept has really taken off and now Bottura plans to expand the idea globally.
The Reffetorio restaurants began as a pop-up in 2015, during the Milan World Expo. Bottura wanted to ensure that not only would no food go to waste as part of the event, but that it would be put to good use. His initial idea was to put a temporary restaurant in one of the central stations, allowing homeless people to make use of the excess meals that were being prepared. Then someone rather important made a suggestion.
News of the project reached The Vatican and the Pope himself suggested putting the restaurant in one of the more poverty-stricken parts of town; Greco. Utilising an old theatre, Bottura has established a permanent setup which has made a huge difference to the community.
According to The Guardian:
Bottura has also set up a foundation – Food for Soul – to seed the concept in other cities; he began with the creation of a Refettorio in Rio for the Olympics, which continues to thrive. His next stop, next month, is a Refettorio in London. In the week before Easter, the week I was in Milan, Food for Soul received an initial grant of $650,000 from the Rockefeller Foundation to bring at least two Refettorios to the US.
With the Food for Soul projects, Bottura wants to combat the immense amounts of food waste that households and industry produce every year.
Over 1.3 billion tonnes of food waste is created worldwide every year. That’s over a third of the food that is produced for consumption.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United States, “Food losses and waste amounts to roughly US$ 680 billion in industrialized countries and US$ 310 billion in developing countries.”
One of the most disheartening aspects of such statistics is that over 60% of food waste is avoidable. With just a few small changes around the home and in the office, everyone can make a difference. On a larger scale, however, it’s wonderful to see projects such as Bottura’s gain such momentum.