"I want to challenge people’s perception of waste"

Alex South

Alex South


The Why Waste? Project will return for its second year on 29 September to coincide with International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste with Massimo Bottura.

The project aims to create engaging content to inspire people to adopt a more responsible behaviour to save food from being wasted by asking the question “why is this waste?”.

The three chefs who have joined Massimo are Sat Bains of two-Michelin star Nottingham restaurant with rooms, Dominique Crenn who is the only female chef in the US with three Michelin stars and Césare Troisgros, the fourth-generation continuing the legendary story of La Maison Troisgros, which has held three Michelin stars for an incredible 51 years.

Each chef is given food items by Massimo that are perceived as waste to transform into something new to inspire people to look at leftover food differently.

Each chef works with their local teams to produce a dish they then present back to Massimo. The challenges are presented in three videos hosted by FineDininglovers.com in ingredient categories; Vegetable Trimmings, Over-Ripe Fruits, Stale Bread.

Commenting on what made him get involved with the project Sat said: “I want to challenge people’s perception of waste, we are a gastronomic community sharing ideas for the greater good.” 

Sat is given two challenges, the first with vegetable trimmings he transforms into tutti frutti ice cream made with candied vegetables complete with cone and red syrup made from beetroot scraps.

Discussing his methods, Sat said: “When looking at leftovers steer away from soups. Vegetables contain lots of natural sugars so why not make something surprising and fun.”



The format brings attention to the mission of Food for Soul and Refettorio projects around the world, where daily culinary teams divert food surplus from landfill, transforming the otherwise wasted ingredients into nourishing meals and hunger relief served with hospitality to those most socially vulnerable.

Since the first Refettorio opening in 2015, Massimo has cultivated a cultural movement to save food from waste while addressing long-term food security and food system sustainability serving as a UNEP Goodwill Ambassador.    

Discussing this issue, Massimo said: “Approximately 17% of food is wasted at the consumer-level while 10% of the world goes hungry.  In our kitchens, at home, we can make a significant difference, starting with simple habits that save food from waste. As chefs you see leftovers as ingredients that have the potential to be something special. The goal of this series is to inspire you and show you how to create amazing recipes for you and your family,” 

The three videos hosted are categorised into food groups: Vegetable Trimmings, Over-Ripe Fruits, Stale Bread and are also available with French, Italian and Spanish subtitles.

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Alex South

Alex South

Editor 27th September 2022

"I want to challenge people’s perception of waste"