Chef Massimo Bottura and UAE Food Bank fight against food waste

RetailME Bureau

Award-winning Chef Massimo Bottura has launched an initiative along with W Dubai – The Palm – where his Dubai restaurant Torno Subito is located – and UAE Food Bank to encourage UAE residents and restaurants to cut back on throwing away food

Recently, a workshop was hosted at Bottura’s only restaurant outside of Italy, Torno Subito. Alongside chef de cuisine, Bernardo Paladini, the masterclass showed guests and attendees how to use ingredients with the respect they deserve and how they can be reused in easy to make and great tasting dishes.

A passionate advocate for reducing food waste, Bottura heads up the ‘Food for Soul’ initiative, a non-profit organisation that empowers communities internationally to fight food waste through social inclusion.

Bottura’s dedication and drive perfectly reflects the efforts being made by Dubai’s leadership through the pioneering UAE Food Bank programme. A first for the Emirates, the programme encourages hotels and restaurants to donate unused food in order cut back on wastage.

“It’s time to act. We have to step out of the kitchen and involve people across the UAE and the UAE Food Bank – they care a lot about the issue of food waste. If a hotel like this can become a symbol for ethics it is something incredible and a powerful message for all other hotels to emulate,” said Bottura.

Chef Bottura was joined by Dr. Essam, head of the Food Trade Section in Dubai Municipality, who explained the ways families as well as businesses can contribute to reducing the amount of food that ends up in landfills and help to provide meals to less fortunate members of the community. “The UAE Food Bank was established as a non-profit charity to help with the distribution of food to less fortunate members of the community and to help to eliminate food waste by working with local authorities and businesses. Since it was launched in 2017 under the umbrella of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives the UAE Food Bank has successfully spread the message that food waste must, and can, be tackled. Each day surplus food from hotels, supermarkets and more is collected and distributed instead of being discarded. Initiatives such as the UAE Food Bank, with the support of passionate individuals such as Chef Massimo, are helping to spread the important message that food waste is completely unnecessary.”

Food waste is a major issue in the UAE, with AED13 billion of food being thrown out each year – food that could easily be reused in recipes at home or packaged and donated to charitable groups such as the UAE Food Bank. Globally, 1.3 billion tonnes of useable food is thrown away annually.

Restaurants are a major contributor to food waste, accounting for around 32% of all wastage. In keeping with the UAE Food Bank’s vision, Torno Subito and W Dubai – The palm will donate excess unused food to the community through the UAE Food Bank.