Stellar chefs to volunteer at London homeless food waste initiative

By Hannah Thompson

- Last updated on GMT

(Photo: Massimo Bottura / Michel Roux Jr / Angela Hartnett)
(Photo: Massimo Bottura / Michel Roux Jr / Angela Hartnett)

Related tags Rio de janeiro London

Chefs including Alain Ducasse, Michel Roux Jr, Monica Galetti, Jason Atherton, Clare Smyth, Angela Hartnett, Francesco Mazzei and Ashley Palmer-Watts are to volunteer at a London community kitchen created by Massimo Bottura this summer.

The full line-up of 30 chefs – who have 40 Michelin stars between them ‒ will work at Refettorio Felix, to cook lunch for homeless and vulnerable people, using ingredients available on the day that would otherwise have been thrown away as waste.

Bottura – whose Italian restaurant Osteria Francescana was named top on the 2016 World’s 50 Best Restaurants list ‒ will be in the kitchen throughout the summer, while Ducasse will supervise the project’s second day.

The ‘refettorio’ was created by Bottura as part of the London Food Month food waste and hunger campaign from newspaper the London Evening Standard​. The site is named after Felix Byam Shaw, a London-born schoolboy who died from meningococcal septicaemia in 2014 and whose family's Felix Project has been a key part of the campaign, and is backed by the newspaper.

Modelled on similar initiatives in Milan and Rio de Janeiro, created by Bottura’s Food for Soul charity, the London site will open at a yet-to-be-revealed London location on 5 June.

Shifts will begin at 8am and continue until 2pm, at which point the volunteer chefs will stay and eat with other volunteers at the project.

Following the chef residencies, the project will continue to serve meals, prepared by two on-site cooks and other guest chefs.

Top chefs using waste to create high-end dishes has been popular recently, as more and more wake up to the need to reduce waste.

US chef Dan Barber is one such example, with his London pop-up WastED championing the use of waste ingredients and products as much as possible, such as using leftover vegetable pulp to make burgers, and even serving meals on wonky crockery that would otherwise have been thrown out.

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