Italian chef Massimo Bottura is a renowned celebrity chef known for his stint in Netflix series Chef’s Table. A chain restaurant owner, Bottura was stunned by the massive colossal waste occurring in Olympic Games village kitchens and consequently chose to make a difference through this.
Approximately, 250 tons of raw ingredients are used every day to feed Olympic players, officials and coaches. Further multiplying them for a three-time meal per day, calculations gave astonishing figures to estimate what tantalizing amount of food waste is happening.
Massimo Bottura saw this as a silver lining. He saw this as an opportunity to not just feed people, but make them realize the value of every grain wasted.
A piece of land was provided by the city mayor and few months before the Games, Bottura collaborated with a Brazillian chef David Hertz to raise $250,000 and started this philanthropic restaurant called, ”Refettorio Gastromotiva”. Operating since Wednesday, the door opens at 6:00 PM in the evening to welcome the anticipated diners of Brazil to have a taste of exotic palettes from 50 renowned chefs across the world. The chefs from Germany, Italy, California amongst with other countries have chosen to volunteer for Gastromotiva.
Diners who are usually homeless and street dwellers of Rio are awed by the gesture.
”The food was the best I’ve had in his 40 years, the past nine of which he has spent living with my wife on the streets of Rio.Oh my God, he takes banana peels and makes incredible ice cream. And you know, we ate food from Italy!” says one of the diner Rene de Conceição whose meals had been from the garbage bins of Rio.
The project has not just been about feeding hungry people. It’s about social inclusion, kindness and respect they’ve been deprived of.
“These guys, they shake your hand and they treat you like you’re a boss,” he said. “I thought I was dreaming and told my wife to pinch me. But it wasn’t a dream.”