Massimo gets a gold medal (and love from Ashton Kutcher)
Skinny Italian chef rewarded for turning ordinary ingredients into extraordinarily popular food waste movement
For many in the culinary arts, high praise doesn't reach far beyond three Michelin stars. However, the chef, philanthropist and Phaidon author Massimo Bottura has recieved incredible accolades from an incredibly wide variety of sources recently.
On Monday, the chef received a gold medal from the Italian minister for the environment, Gian Luca Galletti - not in honour of his considerable culinary achievements, but instead for his work to eradicate food waste.
The Italian Government passed a number of measures to prevent food waste towards the end of 2017 and, a couple of days ago, Galletti presented Massimo with a medal for his charitable initiative (highlighted in his Phaidon book Bread is Gold) turning ordinarily bin-bound ingredients into extraordinary, healthy, restaurant meals for the poor.
Meanwhile, in the US, the actor and technology entrepreneur Ashton Kutcher featured the chef on his APlus video service, and posted a clip on his Facebook page, accompanied by the comment, “I love this”.
Also this week, Massimo’s Gucci connections led the authoritative fashion trade journal, Women’s Wear Daily, to come calling. In an interview he told WWD about going to school with Marco Bizzarri, Gucci’s current CEO - "We shared the same desk for five years in high school” – as well as cooking with François-Henri Pinault, CEO of the global luxury group Kering. “He’s a French guy, so instead of being at the table with the others, he was looking at us plating."
Massimo also touched on his future plans – look out for new charity Refettorio restaurants in Paris on March 15 and in Naples in April, then some in the States; as well as outlets in in Burkina Faso for the United Nations and an ice cream bar for kids in a refugee camp in Greece, before the year is out.
Phew! That's some going for a thoroughly well deserved gong. You can read all about Massimo's gilded take on food waste by buying a copy of Bread is Gold, here.