A Place at the Table Public Deposited

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Last Modified
  • May 22, 2020
Creator
  • Sebastian Elie-York
Abstract
  • During my Burch Fellowship, I worked for Massimo Bottura at his nonprofit, Food for Soul. Massimo is an acclaimed chef, and owner of the three-Michelin starred restaurant Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy. In 2016 and 2018, his restaurant was awarded 1st on the World’s 50 Best List. Additionally, Massimo has been featured on Netflix’s Chef's Table, and Aziz Ansari’s Master of None. Massimo has used this fame and talent to advocate for social issues. Food for Soul is the byproduct of Massimo’s most recent social interests: food waste and social inclusion. Food for Soul converts derelict spaces into community soup kitchens, called Refettorios and Social Tables. The staff at Refettorios and Social Tables transform food surplus into three course meals, and feed vulnerable populations. Guests sit at long, community tables, and are served by volunteers. All projects are centered around Massimo’s three guiding principles: quality of ideas, the value of hospitality, and the power of beauty. As the Program Development and Expansion Intern, I was tasked with conducting research on all three impact areas. My research considered all five parts of the food supply chain, food related diseases, food access and affordability, and key stakeholders in the food system. Additionally, I helped operate Social Tables Ghirlandina, assess Food for Soul’s Theory of Change, and collaborated on a number of special projects. I provided PR support to Lara Gilmore, Massimo’s partner in life and business, and helped write an art brochure for Casa Maria Luigia. I also designed a skills training for the Learning Network Meeting, an annual gathering for all of Food for Soul’s project leaders.
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