Massimo Bottura brings third Refectory to London

The  Staff Canteen

Celebrated chef Massimo Bottura, who has three Michelin stars to his name, will launch his third Refettorio – or Refectory – as part of London Food Month in June.

Run by his non-profit organisation, Food for Soul and in association with London food waste/food poverty charity The Felix Project, the refettorio will be a community kitchen serving lunches made from surplus food to homeless and vulnerable people. The refettorio will be named Refettorio Felix after Felix Byam Shaw (the inspiration for the Evening Standard’s campaign which aims to tackle food waste and hunger) and will open on 5 June at St Cuthbert’s Centre in Earl’s Court.

Speaking to The London Evening Standard, Massimo said: “Chefs have risen to celebrity heights. I believe we can use these heights to illuminate the most pressing issues facing society today. Food for Soul works to create inclusive and beautiful spaces to promote wellbeing for those who are marginalised and often 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.”

Each day Massimo will team up with a different British chef to produce free or heavily subsidised healthy meals for struggling people. Massimo will also teach new recipes to two local cooks showing them how to create more interesting meals using surplus food.

Ingredients will be supplied by The Felix Project charity which would otherwise have gone to waste — in the same way that Refettorio Ambrosiano used wasted food from the Milan Expo pavilions and Refettorio Gastromotiva used surplus food from the Olympic Village.

Opening for lunch Monday through to Friday, the Refettorio aims to serve 2,000 meals during London Food Month.

The site at St Cuthbert’s Centre in Earl’s Court will undergo a six week renovation before it opens on June 5. Charle Wainwright will oversee the exterior whilst the interior will be designed by led by Ilse Crawford from the award winning Studioilse.

Stephen Milton, centre manager at St Cuthbert’s, said: “we are incredibly excited to have been chosen as Food for Soul’s first pioneering Refettorio in the UK. This will have a fundamental impact on all those associated with the centre, not least our guests, and leave a legacy for our future by raising our profile and visibility in the community.”

>>> Related: Massimo Bottura will host an exclusive dinner with OzHarvest to help prevent food wastage

More than 30 leading British and international chefs have already accepted the call to action from Massimo Bottura to cook in the Refettorio. So far those confirmed include: Alain Ducasse (along with Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester executive chef Jean-Philippe Blondet), Alberto Crisci (from The Clink Charity), Angela Hartnett, Anna Hansen, Antonio Favuzzi,
Ashley Palmer-Watts, Brett Graham, Bruno Loubet, Clare Smyth, Claude Bosi, Damian Clisby, Daniel Boulud, Douglas McMaster, Enrico and Roberto Cerea, Francesco Mazzei, Giorgio Locatelli, Isaac McHale, James Lowe, Jason Atherton, Jess Murphy, Jonny Lake (Executive Head Chef The Fat Duck), Leandro Carreira, Lee Tiernan, Margot Henderson, Michel Roux Jr., Monica Galetti, Nuno Mendes (chef of Chiltern Firehouse), Oliver Peyton, Sat Bains, Robert Ortiz, (head chef of Lima) and Robbin Holmgren (head chef of Fifteen).

Their expertise will help to turn surplus ingredients into a delicious menu. “Chefs have risen to celebrity heights,” Chef Bottura commented. “I believe we, chefs, can reflect these lights to illuminate the most pressing issues facing society today. Cooking is a call to act.”

>>> Related: Food on the Edge 2016 - Day 2

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 21st March 2017

Massimo Bottura brings third Refectory to London