The passions of world-renowned Italian chef Massimo Bottura reach far beyond the kitchen. He’s on a mission to combat global hunger—and he’s bringing in some major partners, like Robert De Niro, to make it happen.
Unlike his Goodfellas character, De Niro is no stranger to the world of high-end cuisine. He brings something to the table that very few other partners can: a litany of successful world-class restaurants in New York. The Manhattan-born actor has his hand in some of the city’s best–Locanda Verde, Tribeca Grill, and Nobu, to name a few.
In 2016, Bottura’s three Michelin star restaurant Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy was ranked Number 1 on World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. His latest venture, dubbed as a “dining hall,” is likely to be a big departure from the roughly $250 price tag that accompanies a meal at Osteria Francescana.
Bottura first launched his socially-minded mission in 2015 during the Milan Expo. Known as Refettorio Ambrosiano, the project is aimed at making use of leftover food and bringing it to disadvantaged communities. Most recently, he’s continued his fight against food waste at the Olympic Games in Rio, creating a cafeteria that takes food destined for the trash can at the Olympic Village and serves it to those living in nearby poverty-stricken favelas. Rebranding the temporary venture as RefettoRio, the Italian chef is serving up three course meals at no charge. Bottura’s project act of giving is significant, given the immense profligation during the Olympic Games. To learn more about Bottura and his restaurant Osteria Francescana, watch the video below.
—By Reilly Dowd, RealClearLife Contributor