World’s Best Chefs Dish Out Gourmet Meals to the Homeless in New London Soup Kitchen
One of Italy's best chefs has roped in his Michelin-starred buddies to help run London's first gourmet soup kitchen
Chef Massimo Bottura (Image Courtesy: AFP RelaxNews)
Italy's top chef Massimo Bottura officially opened the doors to his London soup kitchen, Refettorio Felix, this week, where Michelin-starred chefs will turn surplus foods destined for the landfills into gourmet meals for the city's homeless, elderly and refugees. Bottura improvised a three-course meal with 50 crates of surplus food that included a vegetable soup to start, pasta with leftover bread crumbs, and a homemade ice cream made with Earl Grey tea and biscuits.
The kitchens will be supplied by unsold food stock from retailers like Sainsbury's, Marks & Spencer, Fortnum and Mason, Harrods and Whole Foods. To help inaugurate the new space at St. Cuthbert's Day Centre in West London this week, Bottura tapped chefs like Alain Ducasse, Clare Smyth and Margot Henderson who will oversee the menu preparation.
Overall, Bottura has been able to tap 50 of his famous chef friends from the UK around the world to lend their culinary talents to the soup kitchen as guest chefs. They include Brett Graham, Daniel Boulud, Jason Atherton, Michel Roux Jr., Sat Bains, and Giorgio Locatelli among others.
Refettorio Felix is the latest project to come from Bottura's non-profit organization Food for Soul, which opened the first soup kitchen in Milan during Expo 2015, turning surplus foods into meals for the homeless. Along with Refettorio Ambrosiano in Milan, the group also operates similar soup kitchens in Modena, Bologna, and Brazil.
Bottura's Modena restaurant Osteria Francescana holds three Michelin stars and is ranked No. 2 on this year's World's 50 Best Restaurants list. Refettorio Felix is not open to the general public, but visitors can tour the space during the weekdays or volunteer.
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