Gourmet chefs turn Olympic leftovers into fine dining for Brazil’s poorest

Local News

On the sidelines of the Rio games, top chefs are cooking up meals for a different clientele. They use leftovers from the Olympic village, and create three-course meals for people in need.

It’s a soup kitchen serving Rio’s castaways with some of the biggest names in the culinary world stirring the pots and that’s just the way Michelen-starred Chef Massimo Bottura wants it.

“On the second night, there were two guys who left the room saying it’s the first time in my life that we were treated like human beings – like prince and princess. It’s breathtaking because it is exactly what we want to do here. We build the dignity of the people,” said Chef Bottura.

To top it all off, they’re using surplus ingredients originally destined for the Olympic village. Served up under fine art on tables designed by Campana brothers. 

An ambitious project called Refettorio Gastromotiva, that just opened in Rio’s rundown Lapa neighborhood – catering to the those in need.

Bottura teamed up with Brazilian Chef David Hertz to make it all happen.

David Hertz, founder of Gastromotiva, said if they use food that would not sell in the supermarket because of its image, like wrinkles on a pepper. He said “It’s kind of like the ugly pepper.” They don’t care if it’s ugly, it helps feed the hungry. 

The young cooks his non-profit has trained are now learning from the masters and who will run the show once the Olympics are over. 

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