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 story : Massimo Bottura Wants You to Stop Wasting Your Food #WorldNEWS Chef Massimo Bottura didn’t bring his chef’s jacket to the photo shoot. Which is just as well, considering that simple chef’s

@newsMNC 10 Days ago

Posted in: #WorldNEWS

Massimo Bottura Wants You to Stop Wasting Your Food #WorldNEWS
Chef Massimo Bottura didn’t bring his chef’s jacket to the photo shoot. Which is just as well, considering that simple chef’s whites could never convey what this exuberant bon vivant has become since opening the doors of his three-Michelin-starred, two-time winner of the best restaurant in the world, Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy, in 1995. His culinary empire now extends from Dubai to Beverly Hills, with a new hotel in Modena that serves as an extension of his own home, with walls hung with works by Ai Weiwei, Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin. He is the author of two books and one of the stars of Netflix’s cult foodie docuseries Chef’s Table.
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But out of all those successes, Italy’s most celebrated chef says the pinnacle of his achievements is Milan’s Refettorio Ambrosiano and the 12 global spin-offs that have followed in its wake.

At Refettorio Ambrosiano, dinner guests are greeted by name. They dine on fine china at tables created by the country’s most sought—after furniture designers, under works of art that would not be out of place in a contemporary art museum. The waiters are courteous, and the chefs have trained under the finest restaurateurs in the world. The set menu changes daily, depending on what comes in with the morning’s delivery.
This morning’s delivery contains wilting arugula, chicken close to its sell-by date, too-ugly-to-be-sold oranges and only enough shrimp for half the anticipated guests. But by dinner, the supermarket castoffs have been transformed into a three-course feast, the shrimp sautéed with arugula for a pasta starter and the roast chickens slathered in a fragrant orange glaze. Dessert is a rich mousse made from donated chocolate and almost-past-its-prime cream. The 100 or so diners—runaways, refugees, the homeless and the unemployed—tuck in with obvious pleasure, laughing with the volunteer waiters, praising the volunteer chefs and forgetting, at least for an hour, the challenges of a life lived on the streets of Milan.

Photo-Illustration by Lucia Buricelli for TIMECollage made with photographs taken at Refettorio Ambrosiano before dinner service on Dec. 15, 2021. Included: food ingredients, dishes being cooked and served, and details around the refettorio. On top left is Botturas motto, No more excuses — photographed from outside the building.
The brightest gems in Bottura’s culinary empire are not restaurants at all. They are soup kitchens. Not that Bottura would call them that. He thinks of them as catalysts, venues that not only reaffirm the dignity of the guests, but also draw light and art into neglected neighborhoods, all while focusing attention on the growing global food-waste crisis by turning foods destined for landfill into Michelin Guide–worthy meals.


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