Michelin-star chef prepares gourmet meals for Rio’s homeless

Global Business

Massimo BotturaItalian chef Massimo Bottura poses for a photo at his gourmet soup kitchen Refettorio Gastromotiva in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, Aug. 14, 2016. With so many questions swirling about the huge price tag on stadiums for South America’s first Olympics, Bottura wanted to make his own statement about the games’ sustainability. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)

More than 10,000 athletes have been in Rio for the games. Providing food for them has proved a major undertaking – and plenty of the food has gone to waste.

But a group of chefs have come up with an idea to ensure some of the surplus is put to good use. CCTV America’s Stephen Gibbs reports from Rio.

Michelin-star chef prepares gourmet meals for Rio\'s homeless

Massimo Bottura and 50 other world renowned chefs will take turns cooking gourmet meals for Brazil's homeless. CCTV America’s Stephen Gibbs reports from Rio.

A group of international chefs have come up with an innovative project: a free restaurant in downtown Rio, unlike any other.

The design is chic. The ingredients are fresh. And the chef has just been voted the best in Latin America.

The restaurant could hardly be further from the traditional idea of a soup kitchen for the needy. But its purpose is to offer free food to those most in need.

It is the brainchild of Massimo Bottura. Bottura’s restaurant in Modena, Italy, is probably the best in the world.

And now, he says he felt it was time to give something back. “We are getting the food that would be wasted and we are making visible the invisibles and creating amazing warm delicious meals,” he said.

That concept of ‘waste not, want not’ is central to the project. The food being cooked here is surplus that has been rejected by other Rio restaurants and the Olympic Village.

“The idea is to make good food with our techniques, with our knowledge, but not too complicated,” said Chef Roberta Sudbrack. “We want them to feel and experience it, but not in a complicated way. To feel at home.”

The chefs are all giving their time for free and the restaurant serves free meals in the evenings.

Just like a normal restaurant the idea is that this should not be a spectacle. The intent instead is to treat those that societies usually ignore to a good meal and some dignity.

Some may wonder if this restaurant will keep going after the Olympics, well yes that is the plan. It will be a permanent fixture in the city, open to paying guests for lunch, and free for those in need in the evening.

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