Chefs = Change Agents / by Paula Hardie

Here is an example of chefs using their influence and creativity to assume a role of responsibility as agents of change.

RefettoRio Gastromotiva, launched by Italy’s Massimo Bottura and Brazil’s David Hertz, utilises ingredients left over from the Olympic Village's catering services, and surplus food from sponsors and partners' grocery stores that would otherwise be wasted, to feed impoverished Rio de Janeiro residents.  

Social inequality is significant in Brazil, and favela-dwellers represent 17 per cent of the total population of Rio (Xavier & Magalhães 2003), which brings into question the social, economical and political appropriateness of the placement of the 2016 Olympic Games.

The team behind Gastromotiva are helping break down the exclusionary conditions set upon gentrified communities in Rio with its potential to design ontologically, as Hertz claims it will continue to function after the Olympic and Paralympic Games via the provision of vocational training.

According to Bottura's wife, Lara Gilmore, the inability to prepare recipes in advance is the real challenge for the project's participants (Rafael 2016). This project not only brings the awareness of food waste to the global stage, but an exemplary solution also, proving that chefs are positioned within a system that is capable of, and responsible for, social change and political awareness.

Helia Nacif,  Xavier & Magalhães, Fernanda. 2003. Urban Slums Report: The case of Rio de Janeiro.  <>

Rafael, Tonon. 3 August, 2016. Inside Massimo Bottura’s Master Plan to Conquer Food Waste. Eater. <>