Chef Massimo Bottura has gained massive acclaim thanks to his Modena, Italy, restaurant Osteria Francescana, which was No. 1 on the World's 50 Best Restaurants list for 2016. Instead of letting the accolades go to his head, he's undertaken an attempt to combat hunger and food waste, both in Milan and Rio. Now, it appears he's eyeing a project in New York City.
A recent report in Italy's Bergamo Post (translated), revealed Bottura is working on a "dining hall" in the Bronx, though no further details were mentioned. While information surrounding the project remains scarce, a post on Bottura's Instagram account reveals it might be on track to debut in next year, and iconic actor Robert De Niro could be involved.
During the 2015 Milan Expo, Bottura launched Refettorio Ambrosiano. The chef created menus using leftover ingredients from the expo and served children and homeless shelters in the area. Refettorio claims to have eliminated 15 tons of food waste during the five-month expo, and it continues to operate by serving dishes made from local supermarket leftovers. Following up on that success, Bottura is launching Refettorio in Rio, where he and his team will use leftovers from the Olympic Village to feed residents of the city's favelas.
The Bronx venture is a collaboration with the Italian consul in New York, according to the Bergamo report. If it is indeed an outpost for Bottura's Refettorio, as the Instagram copy suggests, the restaurant will bring Bottura's charitable campaign to the United States for the first time.