The new community kitchen will open its doors this June in collaboration with The Felix Project and will remain as a legacy of the festival celebrating the diversity of British food culture 

Food for Soul, the non-profit organisation founded by chef Massimo Bottura, is partnering with The Felix Project, a London-based food waste charity, to open its third major international project. The joint venture will see the exciting opening this June of a community kitchen, called Refettorio Felix,  that replicates Food for Soul’s previous projects in Milan, during Expo2015, and in Rio’s 2016 Olympics.

The project will see a soon-to-be-disclosed London venue converted into the new Refettorio Felix with the help of eminent London interior designer Studioilse (past projects include Soho House New York and Mathias Dahlgren restaurant). The result will be an engaging dining room complete with a professional kitchen where surplus produce supplied by The Felix Project will be cooked up by guests chefs. During London Food Month, Refettorio Felix will provide lunch from Monday to Friday for the homeless and vulnerable individuals. The aim is to serve more than 2,000 meals using five tonnes of recovered food.

More than 30 leading British and international chefs have already accepted the call to action from Massimo Bottura to cook in the Refettorio. So far those confirmed include: Alain Ducasse (along with Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester executive chef Jean-Philippe Blondet), Alberto Crisci (from The Clink Charity), Angela Hartnett, Anna Hansen, Antonio Favuzzi, Ashley Palmer-Watts, Brett Graham, Bruno Loubet, Clare Smyth, Claude Bosi, Damian Clisby, Daniel Boulud, Douglas McMaster, Enrico and Roberto Cerea, Francesco Mazzei, Giorgio Locatelli, Isaac McHale, James Lowe, Jason Atherton, Jess Murphy, Jonny Lake (Executive Head Chef The Fat Duck), Leandro Carreira, Lee Tiernan, Margot Henderson, Michel Roux Jr., Monica Galetti, Nuno Mendes (chef of Chiltern Firehouse), Oliver Peyton, Sat Bains, Roberto Ortiz, (head chef of Lima) and Robbin Holmgren (head chef of Fifteen).

Their expertise will be drawn up to turn ingredients that would otherwise be wasted into a delicious three-course menu served to the guests. “Chefs have risen to celebrity heights,” Chef Bottura commented. “I believe we, chefs, can reflect these lights to illuminate the most pressing issues facing society today. Cooking is a call to act.” 

The unique aesthetics of Refettorio Felix, along with the use of quality tableware and restaurant-style service, aims to provide a holistic approach to nourishment that feeds both the body and the soul. More than only providing a warm meal, Food for Soul wants to bring back a sense of dignity to the table. This reflects Massimo Bottura’s belief that “a delicious meal shared with others is much more than the sum of the ingredients. It is a gesture of love.”

Following the month-long festival, Refettorio Felix will continue to operate with the support of Food for Soul and its partner The Felix Project to 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.