Refettorio Felix: Community kitchen to create meals from food waste for vulnerable people

Refettorio Felix’s community kitchen, Refettorio Felix at St Cuthbert’s, will open its doors this June creating hearty meals from food waste, which will feed vulnerable people in the West London area.

The community kitchen, which is not open to the public, will open its doors on 5 June to homeless people and other vulnerable people in the area for lunch from Monday to Friday. The aim is to serve more than 2,000 meals using five tonnes of recovered food.

This month-long event, launched in conjunction with London Food Month, is the collaboration of Food for Soul, the Italian non-profit organisation founded by chef Massimo Bottura, and The Felix Project, a London-based food waste charity.

Throughout the month-long festival, a list of high-profile guest chefs will be volunteering in the kitchen, to transform surplus ingredients into multi-course dishes, served to diners at the table by a team of staff and volunteers.

Chefs include Alberto Crisci from The Clink Charity, Lima’s head chef Roberto Ortiz, Oliver Peyton, Fifteen’s head chef Robbin Holmgren, Michel Roux Jr. and Monica Galetti.

The chefs expertise will be drawn upon to turn ingredients that would otherwise be wasted into a three-course menu served to guests.

Chef Massimo Bottura said: “Chefs have risen to celebrity heights. I believe we, chefs, can reflect these lights to illuminate the most pressing issues facing society today. Cooking is a call to act.

“The gesture of sitting down to a meal and breaking bread together is the first step toward rebuilding dignity and creating community.”

The new community kitchen, Refettorio Felix, can be found in St Cuthbert’s Day Centre in West London. For the last 20 years, St Cuthbert’s in West London has been a drop-in centre for all marginalised, vulnerable people in Earls Court and the surrounding areas, with a mission of “proving the community cares”.

The centre, which is an independent charity, is supported by grants and donations from trusts, organisations and individuals.

To house the Refettorio Felix project, St Cuthbert’s Day Centre has gone through an extensive refurbishment, including a fully equipped kitchen.

Food for Soul says: “It [Refettorio Felix at St Cuthbert’s] is a unique project for bringing together both public and private organisations, as well as professionals from diverse fields to create a welcoming dining space that can benefit the whole community.

“By infusing the Refettorio with art and design, we want to engage guests in a holistic approach to nourishment: feeding body and soul.”

The idea of Refettorio Felix was conceived by Food for Soul, a non-profit organisation that fights against food waste in support of social inclusion and individual wellbeing.

The organisation began with creating Refettorio Ambrosiano in Milan during Expo 2015, with subsequent projects launched in Brazil (Refettorio Gastromotiva) as well as Modena and Bologna in Italy.

Each unique project shares the common themes of using surplus food, working with artists to create engaging dining spaces and serving dishes to vulnerable local communities.

Following London Food Month, Refettorio Felix at St Cuthbert’s will continue to operate with the support of Food for Soul and its partner The Felix Project. It will serve meals prepared by two resident cooks with monthly assistance from a guest chef.

The community space will also be used to host events, workshops and social entrepreneurship programmes to engage the local community in the fight against food waste.

Refettorio Felix at St Cuthbert’s

Rosalind Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She is a writer specialising in sustainable life & style, music, entertainments and wellbeing. Rosalind also works as a spiritual life coach and intuitive advisor helping people to become who they truly are and manifest their heart & soul’s desires into their lives: www.rosalindmedea.com

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