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Massimo Bottura’s Food for Soul feeds Rio’s homeless during the 2016 Olympics


Food for Soul and Gastromotiva give life to RefettoRio during the 2016 Olympics:

Together with chef Massimo Bottura, chef and founder of Gastromotiva David Hertz have created a soup kitchen in the Lapa neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro

Food for Soul worked hand to hand with Gastromotiva, a non­profit organization founded by David Hertz, to recreate the model of the community kitchen first launched in Milan. The synergy created between the two organizations and supported by the food journalist Alexandra Forbes, led to the opening of RefettoRio Gastromotiva on August, the 9th. Free meals were provided to those in need throughout the whole period of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The idea of taking the project of Massimo Bottura to Brazil came in 2015, when Gastromotiva cooked at Refettorio Ambrosiano for the homeless of Greco neighbourhood. From the very beginning, Food for Soul supported the Brazilian association in making the dream come true.

The project offered food and dignity to people in situations of social vulnerability. Chefs invited from all around the world will cook tasty and nutritious meals from the food surplus of the Olympic Village. The model reproduces that of Refettorio Ambrosiano, created by Massimo Bottura, where more than 65 international chefs cooked with food waste coming from the pavilions of ExpoMilan 2015. Former Gastromotiva students will be amongst the staff of the new project in Rio de Janeiro: young culinary talents thus will be empowered. Many chefs from all over the world already answered the call launched by Food for Soul: Andoni Luis Aduriz, Andrea Berton, Mauro Colagreco, Alain Ducasse, Carlos Garcia, Rodolfo Guzman, Leonor Espinosa, Francis Mallmann, Virgilio Martinez and Pia Leon, Davide Oldani, Elena Reygadas, Joan Roca, Kamilla Seidler, Mitsuharu Tsumura will cook at RefettoRio throughout the period of the Olympics. Brazilian chefs have been invited to be part of the project; among those, there are Alex Atala, Felipe Bronze, Manu Buffara, Thiago and Felipe Castanho, Teresa Corçao, Rafa Costa e Silva, Alberto Landgraf, André Mifano, Rodrigo Oliveira, Helena Rizzo, Roberta Sudbrack, Thomas and Claude Troisgos.

RefettoRio marked the new international identity of Food for Soul: thanks to the financial support of Pastificio Di Martino, Grundig, San Pellegrino and Pastificio Felicetti, the organization founded by Massimo Bottura crossed the Italian borders for the very first time in order to assist in the olympics of Rio.

RefettoRio derives from r​eficere i​n Latin,​that means “to remake” or “to restore”. It is also the place where monks used to eat together and share their daily meal. Going back to the essence of the word, RefettoRio Gastromotiva aims to shed light on the issue of food waste and raise awareness on the importance of the full use of food. Restoring food will be as important as restoring the dignity of people.

The soup kitchen was built on a piece of land provided by the City of Rio de Janeiro in Rua da Lapa 108, a space granted to Gastromotiva for the next 10 years. To make the dream come true, the artist Vik Muniz, the designers Campana brothers and the lighting designer Maneco Quinderé offered their pro bono commitment to design both interiors and furniture. Metro Architecture provided the building project. These internationally renowned professionals are all collaborating to state the power of change carried by food.

Also with the contribution of the Cargill Foundation, the Carrefour Foundation and the Coca Cola Foundation, RefettoRio Gastromotiva will open for dinner everyday and, after the Olympic Games, it will increase their activities becoming also a restaurant­school and raising funds through the concept of “pay a lunch and leave a dinner”. This project will help spread the movement of social gastronomy created by David Hertz and continue nourishing those in need at no cost. In addition, RefettoRio Gastromotiva will be a hub for projects related to food and social inclusion: it will offer workshops on nutrition and healthy food for families, cooks and school managers, as well as workshops on the full use of food, etc.

The RefettoRio Gastromotiva is part of the Rio Sustainable Food Initiative in the Sustainability field of the Rio 2016 Olympic Committee.

About Food for Soul

Food for Soul i​s a non­profit organization founded by chef Massimo Bottura to encourage communities to fight food waste in the interest of social inclusion and individual well­being. During ExpoMilan 2015, the association built Refettorio Ambrosiano, a soup kitchen in an abandoned theatre, and brought more than 60 international chefs to cook from food surplus of the world exhibition. Refettorio Ambrosiano is still open and is now run by Caritas Ambrosiana. On May 2016, Food for Soul started collaborating with Antoniano Onlus to empower the service of Mensa Padre Ernesto, a soup kitchen in Bologna.

Food for Soul believes that providing inclusive environments that help bring dignity back to the table. Their projects are infused with art, design and beauty to engage the guests in a holistic approach to nourishment: feeding the body and the soul.

Food for Soul is not a charity project: it is a cultural one.

About Gastromotiva

Gastromotiva is a non­profit organization that uses the transformative power of food and gastronomy to promote inclusive growth and social integration.

Through vocational training in gastronomy, nutrition and sustainable food education, business incubation programs and the sole creation of opportunities, Gastromotiva strengthens and inspires socially vulnerable and less privileged communities, by reaching young people from low­income families, immigrants, former prison inmates in Latin America.

Gastromotiva supports the development of a social gastronomic movement, through collaboration with chefs and restaurants, government and business leaders. At the same time, it encourages and involves the hospitality industry, governments and the food industry to become more inclusive and socially responsible in order to ensure the sustainability of our food system.