Massimo Bottura’s mission to provide delicious free meals for the needy whilst tackling food waste rolls on, with the opening of a new soup kitchen in London.
Refettorio Felix at St Cuthbert’s is a collaboration between Bottura’s Food for Soul non-profit, which turns food waste into gourmet meals, food waste charity The Felix Project, St Cuthbert’s and the Evening Standard’s London Food Month, and follows similar projects in Milan and Rio.
The initiative was launched yesterday with Bottura improvising a three-course meal of soup, pasta and ice cream for 60 vulnerable people from the local community in West London, from 50 crates of surplus ingredients provided by The Felix Project, assisted by an army of volunteers. The food is enjoyed in a restaurant-style setting.
Going forward, for London Food Month and beyond, over 50 of the world's best chefs will be volunteering to cook at St Cuthbert’s, which has been a drop in centre for disadvantaged and marginalised people for 20 years. The chef line-up includes Alain Ducasse, Clare Smyth, Ashley Palmer-Watts, Enrico Cerea, and Margot Henderson. See who else is cooking.
“When people are putting up barriers, here at Refettorio Felix we are breaking walls. Together we have produced a place of beauty for all that deserve a community,” said Bottura of the project.
The Refettorio Felix will remain open indefinitely, offering a daily lunch service, though the dining hall won’t be open to the public – there will be daily tours of the site however.
Plans for similar projects in the US are also afoot, with Food for Soul the recent recipient of a six figure grant from The Rockefeller Foundation.