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Restaurants to Offer Free Food from Leftovers


31 December, 2017

Massimo Bottura is an Italian chef, with plans to open two new restaurants in Paris and Naples next year.

But wealthy diners will not be welcome. The food will be free, made from marketplace leftovers and served only to the poor.

Bottura's Refettorio Ambrosiano restaurant in Milan already feeds the poor and homeless. The restaurant is in an old theater in the outskirts of the city. Chefs at Refettorio cook free meals with leftovers from local shops. They use recipes created by Bottura and other famous cooks.

Massimo Bottura Talks to his staff at Refettorio Ambrosiano in Milan Milan, Italy on December 18, 2017. (REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo)
Massimo Bottura Talks to his staff at Refettorio Ambrosiano in Milan Milan, Italy on December 18, 2017. (REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo)

Bottura told the Reuters news agency that he never thought leftover foods were a waste.

"Bread crumbs, some overripe tomatoes, brown bananas...they are just opportunities for us...to show what we can do with our creativity."

Bottura started the project to reuse leftovers from the eateries of Milan's international Expo in 2015. The project receives support from the church foundation Caritas Ambrosiana.

Unlike traditional soup kitchens, the guests do not have to wait in a line to receive food. Everyone gets served at tables. This limits the number of daily guests to 96. But Bottura says the experience can help his guests regain confidence and take back control of their lives.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization says about one-third of the food produced worldwide each year is wasted or lost.

I'm Jonathan Evans.

Francesca Landini and Agnieszka Flak reported this story for the Reuters news agency. Jonathan Evans adapted it for Learning English. Ashley Thompson was the editor.

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Words in this Story

confidence – n. a feeling or belief that you can do something well or succeed at something

creativity – n. the ability to make new things or think of new ideas

foundation – n. an organization that is created and supported with money that people give in order to do something that helps society

outskirts – n. the parts of a city or town that are far from the center

soup kitchen – n. a place that gives food, such as soup and bread to poor people

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