Celebrity chefs make menus for Caritas Ambrosia

Special menus for the needy from Expo Milano 2015 leftovers.

To mark the opening of the new Caritas refectory in the old Teatro Greco in Milan the diocese branch of Caritas has invited well-known chefs to make special meals for the needy out of leftovers from Expo Milano 2015. The theme of the universal exhibition in Milan is Feeding the Planet. Energy for Life.

Since the opening of Expo at the beginning of May over three tonnes of fresh food have been collected from food outlets on the Expo site. With the help of the co-op this is now being redistributed to the homeless and hungry in the city and its surroundings. And a part of what otherwise would have been classified as waste is now being turned into delicious menus for the people attending the new Caritas refectory.

Ambrosiano refectory
Ambrosiano refectory

One of the chefs behind the project is Massimo Bottura, Italy's top chef, whose Osteria Francescana in Modena is a three-star Michelin restaurant. The idea, he says, was inspired by the words “Buon Pranzo” that Pope Francis said so often at the beginning of his pontificate. Bottura has persuaded another 30 or so of his colleagues from all over the world to join him in cooking these special meals from Expo leftovers.

The refectory space in the S. Martino in Greco district in the north of the city has been restored by architects from the Politecnico di Milano and the furnishings are by Italian designers. Some of the country's well-known artists, such as Enzo Cucchi, Mimmo Palladino and Gaetano Pesce have also lent their names to the project.

Bottura's links with the art world are strong and he says that he gets his inspiration from his dishes from Damien Hirst, Picasso and Ai Weiwei among others. He is bringing a pop-up replica of the Osteria Francescana to Sotheby's in London on 27-29 June.