Food to Soothe the Soul
A Manifesto by Massimo Bottura, top chef Osteria Francescana, rated as the world's best restaurant
“This is the best time to make the invisible visible”, announces chef Massimo Bottura. As a society, why should we hide our problems? We must face the fact that there is food waste and hunger at the same time, and that it makes no sense at all. On top of this, what we need – ultimately – is to restore our sense of food culture.
This model has to be replicated in places where physical hunger goes hand in hand with a need for culture. It’s not a charity project that is needed, but a cultural one. In 2016, we find ourselves in Lapa, a neighbourhood in Rio where there are so many homeless. Here, we have opened a refectory where the chefs use the leftover food from the Olympic Village on a daily basis. By the end of the games, we calculate that we’ll have served about 20,000 meals, in shifts of 110 people. But it is not just about the food; it’s a meeting place with music and artwork. We welcome local people in a premises embellished with works that have been donated by contemporary artists, because good- ness is associated with beauty. This is not, as many say, a charity project, but rather a cultural project. People are redeemed through food and the sharing thereof. But the food is also redeemed.