“What if food waste could feed the hungry?”
That’s the question that Massimo Bottura, chef of reigning San Pellegrino’s World’s Best Restaurant Osteria Francescana, asks of himself and the world in the new documentary, Theater of Life.
Theater of Life follows Bottura and Milan priest Don Giuliano as the pair set up Refettorio Ambrosiano, a soup kitchen designed to feed the hungry and draw attention to food waste during the Milan Expo in 2015. But as you’d expect from one of the world’s most celebrated food figures, Refettorio Ambrosiano wasn’t your garden-variety soup kitchen. The project was staffed by some of the world’s best chefs (can you imagine what Bottura’s list of Facebook friends reads like?) who prepared meals using surplus and unwanted food.
It’s the sort of project that resonates strongly with Ronni Kahn, CEO of Australian food rescue charity, OzHarvest. So much so that OzHarvest will host the documentary’s world premiere in November. Each screening will raise funds for OzHarvest’s annual mission to collect 87 tonnes of excess food for distribution to national charities. According to Kahn, every $25 ticket sold to the screening will provide a meal to 14 homeless Australians.
“Massimo Bottura’s global star status within the food industry brings much needed focus on the issue of eliminating hunger and food waste,” says Kahn. “This film showcases Massimo’s extraordinary leadership on global issues which we hope will inspire chefs as well as home cooks to take meaningful action on the social challenges that we face today.”
The Melbourne premiere of Theater of Life is at 7pm on Wednesday November 16 at Cinema Nova (380 Lygon St, Carlton). Tickets are $25 and can be booked online. The screening needs to sell a minimum of 100 tickets by Friday November 4 to proceed.