The Quality of Ideas

Discover Food For Soul's community cultural initiatives that promote a healthy and fair food system

Don Giuliano SavinaFood for Soul

Refettorio Ambrosiano is the example on which the Refettorio model is based, and led to the founding of Food for Soul.

The project was made possible through the collaboration with different actors across Milan, including Don Giuliano - parish priest of the Grego neighborhood, where the Refettorio si located.

Future of the RefettorioFood for Soul

The Refettorio also offers laboratories for the elderly, training and internships for young students, classes on food waste and inequalities, and cultural initiatives for the whole community, promoting a healthy and equitable food system in Milan and creating moments for social cohesion and community resilience.

Sketch of Refettorio GastromotivaFood for Soul

Refettorio Gastromotiva was the second Refettorio to open, and the first international one for Food for Soul, on the occasion of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

The building of the Refettorio was built from scratch on a plot of land leased by the municipal government for 10 years.

Work in progressFood for Soul

By the time the construction process started, we had an empty, run-down lot and just 54 days to go until the opening. But we didn’t let that detract from our ideal of a space where everyone could feel at home.

Refettorio GastromotivaFood for Soul

“While using basic materials, the whole aesthetic [of Refettorio Gastromotiva] had to be an intentional divergence from what Rio’s homeless would see in their daily life", according to architect Cedroni, who worked on the project.

Potato nest with poached egg and goat cheese sauce by Mauro ColagrecoFood for Soul

Pictured is a shredded potato nest with a poached egg cooked by chef Mauro Colagreco during one of the first services at Refettorio Ambrosiano.

The children who had come to eat at the Refettorio were initially afraid to ruin it, but when they discovered that by poking the egg the whole plate would turn red from the yolk, they loved it and suddenly the room was filled with laughter.

Sketch of a dish prepared at Refettorio ParisFood for Soul

Cooking for the guests of the Refettorios is different than cooking in a normal restaurant. From concept to the final dish, each chef goes through their own creative process to transform surplus ingredients into beautiful, nourishing recipes.

Students from Hospitality technical school Istituto Isabella D’Este Caracciolo cookingFood for Soul

At Refettorio Made in Cloister, in Naples, every Monday night students from Hospitality technical school Istituto Isabella D’Este Caracciolo, volunteer in the kitchen and in the dining hall receiving hands-on training and learning about cooking with surplus.

Imperfect potatoes recovered by Refettorio FelixFood for Soul

One of the most valuable lessons to reduce food waste is to make the most of every part of every ingredient. Even when something seems to have no value at all, it's up to us to find its potential and celebrate it.

Potatoes being cooked at Refettorio FelixFood for Soul

"Something recovered is something gained.” - Massimo Bottura. Transformation is often the result of a creative process which allows us to unlock the hidden potential of everything around us.

From an imperfect potato to a perfect soupFood for Soul

A forgotten potato can become a warm, nourishing and healthy only takes someone to see its hidden potential.

Surplus fruit donated to Refettorio GhirlandinaFood for Soul

Refettorios aim to build healthy and equitable food systems through creative programming that demonstrates the value of ingredients at different stages of their lifespan, and the importance of a food system that is fair and just.

Culinary training programFood for Soul

To reach decent work and economic growth, Refettorios offer a range of programs and activities aimed at accelerating culinary training courses and access to classes and internships.

Culinary training programFood for Soul

One of these activities is “Step Up To The Plate”, a seven-week Culinary and Life Skills Course hosted by Refettorio Felix which aims to support guests to learn more about nutrition, cooking and also to offer a pre-employability programme for those potentially interested in gaining employment in the hospitality industry.

Books for the guestsFood for Soul

To promote inclusivity and human connections, Refettorios offer a wide range of activities on top of their meal program.

For example, books are freely available to the guests at Refettorio Felix , so that they can feel inspired while having their minds fed as well as their bodies.

Guest paintingFood for Soul

Every Monday afternoon, guests at Refettorio Felix participate in art classes which allow them to express themselves and their emotions.

By using art as common language, people are encouraged to create moments that actively celebrate their potential, and to freely express themselves.

Children's Day PartyFood for Soul

During the Children’s Day Party children and teenagers at Refettorio Gastromotiva had the chance to participate in lollipop-making workshops and to make hamburgers and banana splits with their hands.

"We Love Green Festival"Food for Soul

In June 2019, for instance, Refettorio Paris stepped out of Le Foyer de la Madeleine and into the community to share their innovative approach with the participants of “We Love Green” - a popular music festival in Paris with a special focus on environmental sustainability.

Le Curve di Pasta Lunga by Pastificio Agricolo ManciniFood for Soul

In 2019, Food for Soul and Pastificio Agricolo Mancini launched a new shape of pasta called Le Curve di Pasta Lunga to encourage a more sustainable production and consumption.

Le Curve are obtained from the part of the pasta that rests on the rack during the drying process and that is usually discarded in the making of some of our favourite long pasta shapes like spaghetti and linguine.

Le Curve di Pasta Lunga by Food for Soul, Pastificio Agricolo ManciniFood for Soul

“La cucina povera teaches us not to waste anything in the kitchen. Creativity is the power to make something out of nothing. This is what we did with Mancini. We saw the potential of pasta scraps and gave them a new life.“ - Massimo Bottura.

Foorban employeesFood for Soul

Food for Soul launched a Call to Action to the Milanese start-up Foorban, the first Italian digital restaurant able to control the entire production and delivery process. The team responded with a team-building activity with a creative kitchen challenge at its core.

Mondeghili della tradizioneFood for Soul

The first prize went to “Mondeghili della Tradizione”, traditional milanese meatballs made to recover leftover beef. The dish was then reworked by Foorban’s chef and added to their menu for two weeks.

Take-away meals delivered in Paris during COVID-19Food for Soul

In 2020, even if some of our projects were closed due to the COVID-19 global emergency, they still managed to find ways to support the community.

Thanks to the collaboration with chefs, volunteers and local organizations, Refettorios prepared take-away meals for people in need and frontline workers, each one made with care and love. Pictured some of the lunch boxes that staff and volunteers at Refettorio Paris delivered to their guests.

Closed restaurant in ParisFood for Soul

Following the COVID-19 outbreak, most restaurants had to close. But instead of feeling discouraged by the situation, some of them put their time and resources at the service of Refettorios.

Refettorio Gastromotiva in Rio de Janeiro transformed into a Food BankFood for Soul

In Rio de Janeiro, Refettorio Gastromotiva designed and implemented the Refettorio Gastromotiva Food Bank in response to the Coronavirus outbreak.

Take-away meals delivered in Mèrida during COVID-19Food for Soul

In Mexico, where Refettorio Mérida was supposed to officially launch in March 2020, the local staff had to postpone the opening.

They decided, however, to get together, with the help of local chefs, community organizations, volunteers and partners, to create an emergency response plan.

Credits: All media
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