Top Chefs Use Leftover Food From The Olympics To Feed Homeless

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By Cooking Panda

Some of the world’s top chefs joined forces to create gourmet meals for Rio’s homeless population.

Italian chef Massimo Bottura, owner of one of the world’s top 50 restaurants, realized that the amount of food thrown away during the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro could potentially be put to greater use.

“I thought, this is an opportunity to do something that can make a difference,” Bottura told The New York Times.

Along with various chefs who had traveled from across the world, Bottura created Refettorio Gastromotiva, a venture to transform the way the world thinks about food waste, hunger and feeding human dignity.”

“This is not just a charity; it’s not just about feeding people,” Bottura explained. “This is about social inclusion, teaching people about food waste and giving hope to people who have lost all hope.”

The initiative, which launched on August 10 in the Lapa neighborhood, has already become a big hit. Guests such as Prime Minister of Italy, Matteo Renzi, and Brazilian actress and TV host, Regina Case, have come to take a look.

Top chefs such as Alain Ducasse and Joan Roca are among the dozens of culinary masterminds who have volunteered to serve in the kitchen. Alex Atala, owner of one of Brazil’s top restaurants, helped to create one of the gourmet evening menus with ingredients donated by catering companies working with the Olympic village.

“We are a generation of young chefs who are not competing with each other, but who want to share,” Atala said.

Bottura teamed up with Brazilian chef David Hertz several months before the Olympics in order to develop this venture. Hertz convinced Rio’s mayor to provide an empty lot for Refettorio Gastromotiva, while Bottura started the fundraising process to make the homeless dining hall into a reality.

“People right now just don’t trust each other, and most of these companies didn’t want to get involved in a project they thought could get messy,” explained Cristina Reni, project manager of Refettorio Gastromotiva.

Bottura wants to continue working with the venture after the Olympics end. By offering lunch to paying customers, he plans to use the funds to serve 108 free dinners a night. 

Source: The New York Times / Photo credit: Dado Galdieri via The New York Times

Tags: 2016 summer olympics, David Hertz, homeless, Massimo Bottura, philanthropy, Refettorio Gastromotiva
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‘Tips For Jesus’ Leaves $1,500 Tip On $5.71 Bill (Photo)

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By Cooking Panda

A server in San Francisco received a generous surprise after social media sensation Tips For Jesus left a $1,500 tip.

According to Eater, the lavish tippers recently visited a new sports cantina in the Mission District, Bar San Pancho. The bill was only $5.71, so the lucky server received a 26,000 percent tip when Tips For Jesus left $1,500. It seems that the generous tippers were out to celebrate after the Golden State Warriors game, based on the #GoWarriors hashtag.

In a 2014 interview with Modern Luxury, the anonymous tipper behind the Tips For Jesus movement talked about the reasons he’s chosen to bless everyday people with his fortune.

“It’s just about helping people out,” he explained. “It’s not hard to give back.”

By February 2014, the group had left about $130,000 in tips. Through their social media fame, the generous diners hope to inspire others to give back, as well.

“It’s not taking a piece of the pie,” the anonymous source said. “It’s making the pie bigger.”

Despite the name of the initiative, the benefactor asserted that the group was agnostic.

“When justified by great service, magnanimous gratuities are achievable by everyone, no excuses,” he explained.

Jack Selby, former vice-president of PayPal, is rumored to be the man behind the extraordinary tipping movement.

Sources: Eater, Modern Luxury / Photo Credit: tipsforjesus/Instagram via Eater

Tags: generosity, philanthropy, servers, tips, tips for Jesus
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