Italian Master Chef fighting the world food wastage problem by feeding the refugees and working poor


Team Gastromotiva in their kitchen

There are different ways in which one can help others. Education, social awareness, medical services, and whatnot. But one thing that is undisputedly the most difficult and probably the most important to provide, is someone’s dignity. One can donate thousand of things, but providing someone with their dignity, especially when it’s lost in a whirl of money, position, and power is the toughest job possible. However, one man took upon this almost impossible task, and in his own words started a cultural project rather than a charity. Italian master chef, Massimo Bottura, came up with the idea of feeding the underprivileged while making them feel like kings and queens, even if it was possible only for a day.

The project sounds all more appealing because of its core concept. The concept of feeding homeless, working poor, and refugees by using leftovers that otherwise would have gone to trash.

“This is a cultural project, not a charity, We want to rebuild the dignity of people”

It was in the Milan Expo, that the idea was first implemented. More than fifteen tons of otherwise wasted food was used at an abandoned-theater turned soup-kitchen Refettorio Ambrosiano and was turned into a delicious feast for more than ten thousand people. After that, there was no stopping for this august man. He along with his non-profit organization Gastromotiva turned to Olympics after the stint in Milan Expo.

Massimo Bottura, Founder of Gastromotiva
Massimo Bottura, Founder of Gastromotiva

“Rio was in for something unusual. A simple mathematic calculation shows that more than 230 tons of food are required to prepare one Olympic meal. The amount of food wasted is equally unimaginable.” says Massimo Bottura.
Far away from the Olympic village, in the neighborhood of Lapa, Mr.Massimo Bottura started his new venture. 70 people, who along the way have lost their dignity, hope or even both, got a chance to feel equal, to enjoy a meal, a proper meal; the lavish decor and the sophisticated yet relaxing aura all around.

“This is not just a charity; it’s not just about feeding people. This is about social inclusion, teaching people about food waste and giving hope to people who have lost all hope.” said the mastermind himself.

The eyes which were wary and cautious at first became watery and thankful after they were done with their meal. The change of sentiments was not just because of the food prepared by renowned International chefs but also due to the kindness and respect they were subjected to. They left with their stomachs filled with first class food, a never-to-forget experience, and renewed hopes.


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