In the Bronx, the actor Robert de Niro and the best chef Massimo Bottura teamed up to open together a soup kitchen, the Refettorio Ambrosiano, in 2017.
The idea arose from the Expo 2015 in Milan where Bottura developed a program to collect leftovers from several pavilions of the Expo. A rotating team composed by the top 60 international chefs reinterpreted and cooked every night for homeless in an abandoned theatre.
Now, Bottura embarks on the project to open a new space in the Bronx. His restaurant, the Osteria Francescana , is on the first position as the world’s best restaurant. Bottura could stay in Modena and enjoy this triumph but prefers to take advantage of his success to create new social projects.
In June he announced his intention to create a new local that would have the support of the Italian Consulate in New York. But specially, he will have Robert De Niro, who won two Oscars and is also one of the most respected New York restaurateurs, as a partner and companion.
The De Niro business group, Myriad Restaurant, holds eight locals between New York, Los Angeles and London. He also has part of the Nobu business, considered the most important franchise of Japanese restaurants.
Moreover, the project of the Milan Expo was so successful that Bottura used his magic again at the Olympic Games in Rio.
In just two months, he has raised an establishment, with the help of the architect Gustavo Cedroni and the interior designer Vik Muniz, he has mobilized social workers of Lapa and they have opened the doors.
Together with the NGO Gastromotiva and a total of 50 chefs like Joan Roca, Quique Dacosta or Albert Adrià they have fed about 70 persons without resources in the Refettorio Gastromotiva every day.
Inauguration of the Refettorio Gastromotiva
The goal, as Bottura states, is to “transform cuisine into the best tool for social inclusion” this is the “social cuisine movement “.
A new type of cuisine designed with food for poor people by great artists of this sector. The result: residual food transformed into a Michelin star for modest palates.
After his success at Milan Expo and Rio Games, Massimo Bottura will open with Robert de Niro a soup kitchen in the Bronx