New Refettorio Opens in Heart of Paris
The unique community kitchen opened its doors in the Foyer de la Madeleine, a stunning location buried within the crypt of the Church of La Madeleine.
As with former Refettorio openings in Milan, Rio de Janeiro and London, Refettorio Paris will offer a welcoming dinnertime food service to vulnerable members of the community by transforming surplus ingredients (that would otherwise be wasted) into delicious meals. Refettorio Paris’s ambitious aim is to serve 100 meals a day using about 130kg of recovered food. To help them reach their goal, we’ve equipped Refettorio Madeleine with innovative Grundig products to help maximise food longevity and offer the best culinary support we can.
The topic of food waste is very near to our Grundig brand philosophy. In fact, our Respect Food initiative was specially created to help tackle this global problem. We believe that wasting food is wasting life and that the fight against global food waste starts from our own kitchens.
This philosophy is one we share with our partner, Food for Soul, the non-profit organisation founded by chef Massimo Bottura. Our united goal has always been to raise more awareness about the seriousness of global food waste and to inspire people on how to fight against food waste in their kitchens. So far, we’ve been successful. In 2016 alone, together we managed to rescue 25 tonnes of food, started 4 community kitchens, and served 48.300 dishes of food.
The opening of a new Refettorio is just another part of our never-ending quest to make the world a better place. The Refettorio in Paris is not a charity project though. It’s a cultural one. Art has deep roots in Parisian culture and is central to Food for Soul’s founding principle that ethics and aesthetics are one and the same.
To support the cause, artists, architects and designers all worked together to transform the space into an engaging and inspiring place. French artists JR and Prune Nourry, internationally recognised for multi-disciplinary installations in public spaces all over the world, collaborated with architect Nicola Delon and designer Ramy Fischler, who are both renowned for their creative integration of recycled materials in their work.
Local and international chefs from around the world were invited by Massimo Bottura to prepare the meals, while a team of volunteers welcome guests and serve them dinner directly at the table.
In addition to addressing the issue of food waste, Refettorio Paris seeks to raise awareness about the increasing problem of social isolation. A 2016 study found that about 30,000 people are currently living in the streets of Paris, without adequate housing and in vulnerable conditions. Since its opening, Refettorio Paris has welcomed and engaged guests with open hospitality, warm meals and welcoming smiles.
As a company that cares greatly about respecting food, we are proud to partner with a project that brings dignity back to the table. As our CEO, Hakan Bulgurlu says: “The synergy between Grundig and Food for Soul is built on an authentic respect for food, to ultimately waste less and feed more”. We are thrilled with the opening of Refettorio Paris and hope to keep serving those who need it most.