Fighting Food Waste…..with Massimo Bottura’s Refettorio concept

It was inspiring to see the great chef Massimo Bottura on Masterchef earlier this year talking about his passion project, ‘Food For Soul‘ – a non-profit organisation he founded, empowering communities to fight food waste through social inclusion. They collaborate with different partners and community kitchens around the world to set up ‘Refettorio’s’. 

Massimo Bottura appearing on Masterchef earlier this year talking about his passion for Reffetorio’s

The word Refettorio comes from the Latin reficere, meaning ‘to re-make’, but also ‘to restore’. It was originally a place where monks gathered together to share their daily meal.
Food for the Soul restore and renovate neglected spaces transforming them into inspiring community kitchens, where people in situations of social vulnerability can feel welcome, and where the local community can rediscover the value of the abandoned and the potential behind food surplus. Renowned chefs are also invited to share their creativity and expertise and cook delicious and healthy meals for their guests using surplus ingredients. By doing so, they want to raise awareness on the value of food and on the importance of quality and hospitality to restore dignity

In Australia, more than five million tonnes of food ends up in landfill, costing an estimated $20bn a year. OzHarvest collects over 180 tonnes of food each week from food donors across Australia, including supermarkets, restaurants and catering companies.

There is talk of a Partnership with OzHarvest with another such refettorioventure for the Italian chef ‘downunder’.

“I first met Massimo in 2016 – it was like meeting a kindred spirit that I had known all my life!  We share the same passion, values and vision to create a better world, and are both determined to make a difference.

Ronni Kahn, Founder and Chief Executive – OzHarvest

OzHarvest founder and chief executive, Ronni Kahn says, “I first met Massimo in 2016 – it was like meeting a kindred spirit that I had known all my life!  We share the same passion, values and vision to create a better world, and are both determined to make a difference. In 2017 we were lucky enough to host an incredibly special dinner at OzHarvest with Massimo and nine of Australia’s best chefs, who all came together to ‘Cook with a Conscience’.  Our warehouse was transformed into a fine dining venue and the creativity of the food was mind blowing, with dishes made from fried fish bladders and cobia fat caramel slice!  The whole evening was a combination of extraordinary culinary talent and passionate people on a mission to change the world. I’m excited and privileged to be able to bring his Refettorio to life in Australia.”

Ozharvest are looking at locations in Sydney and it will just depend on when and where they find something, then a bit of lead time for logistics.  It’s most likely going to be a project for 2020.

The whole project is collaboration between OzHarvest and Massimo’s Food for Soul charity, taking the lead from Massimo’s successful refettorio model in other countries, they will source chefs and volunteers to run kitchens. OzHarvest will look at the site, operations, volunteers and supply of rescued food.  They will also look at communicating with the charity agencies that feed people in need and get the word out once the Reffettorio opened.