Massimo Bottura and Daniel Humm create kitchen alchemy
Trash-bound ingredients take on a whole new life in The Skinny Italian chef's Bread is Gold book
“Food waste is one of the biggest problems of our century and our generation’s cross to bear. Almost one billion people are undernourished. One third of the food we produce globally is wasted every year, including nearly four trillion apples,” writes Massimo Bottura in our new book Bread is Gold. A deep concern for this waste, coupled with childhood memories of his mother's recipe for supposedly gone-off bread, prompted Bottura to found the haute-cuisine soup kitchen Refettorio Ambrosiano in Milan in 2015.
The first chef he invited to cook at the Refettorio was Daniel Humm, the Swiss chef behind Eleven Madison Park in New York. Humm was unfazed as he was presented with ingredients including over-ripe strawberries, aged zucchini and stale bread. The diners that night were 100 students fatigued from a day spent at the Expo fair and no idea of what awaited at them at the table.
Humm conjured up a gazpacho from the strawberries, a gratin from an unpromising job lot of beef and the zuchinni, and from the stale bread a pudding, the recipes for which are included in our new book. Thus were the aesthetics and ethos of the Refettorio established: the fanciest of food made for the needy from the unfanciest of ingredients.
Check back soon for further tails of gastronomic alchemy courtesy of Massimo and his fellow world-famous chefs; and to recreate the recipes and learn more about the ideas behind the Refettorio order a copy of Bread is Gold here.