After only 55 days of construction work, the doors of the Refettorio Gastromotiva were open. Resulting from a partnership between the ONG Gastromotiva run by David Hertz, Massimo Bottura [best chef in 2016] and Alexandra Forbes Brazilian gastronomy journalist, together with an internationally renowned creative team with names such as Vic Muniz, Maneco Quinderé and the Campana Brothers.
The Refettorio Gastromotiva is part of Massimo Bottura’s Food for Soul initiative, which aims to combat the issue of global food waste by demonstrating how to transform food not deemed suitable for sale at supermarkets into delicious and nutritious meals. The restaurant was chosen to be in an area in between Lapa and the Aterro do Flamengo, a region of the city where this project would have a greater impact with the homeless people. Situated on the edge of a small square adjacent to one of the neighbourhood’s main thoroughfares, the building is designed to enhance its connection with the community. An exterior clad in translucent polycarbonate panels and large doors that open up one side onto the square ensure the restaurant feels accessible and welcoming.
A palette of authentic, industrial materials that are commonly found in the area, were also employed resulting in an honest, no-frills aesthetic which celebrates the essential construction elements and services. In this environment chefs invited from all around the world cooked tasty and nutritious meals from food surplus of the Olympic games, offering meals with dignity and beauty to people in social vulnerability.