The idea of Refettorio Felix was conceived by Food for Soul, a non-profit organisation founded by renowned chef Massimo Bottura that fights against food waste in support of social inclusion and individual well-being.
The organisation began with creating Refettorio Ambrosiano in Milan during Expo 2015 with subsequent projects launched in Brazil (Refettorio Gastromotiva) as well as Modena and Bologna in Italy. Each unique project shares the common themes of using surplus food, working with artists to create engaging dining spaces and serving dishes to vulnerable local communities.
For the last 20 years, St Cuthbert’s in West London has been a drop-in centre with a mission of “proving the community cares.”
The centre and its staff have gained wide experience in creating a safe and informal sanctuary for marginalised people, supported by grants and donations from trusts, organisations and individuals. They decided to host the Refettorio Felix project as a way of increasing the impact of their cause and offering a unique dining experience to the people they help day-in, day-out.
Refettorio Felix is supplied with daily produce including fruit, vegetables, cereals, dairy, pasta, herbs and drinks from The Felix Project, a charity working to reduce food waste and food poverty in London.
It works by collecting surplus food from retailers, wholesalers and producers and delivers it free of charge to over 60 charities across London. Food, which would otherwise be wasted, reaches the homeless, the elderly, refugees and families struggling to feed themselves, in the form of hot meals and food parcels. Felix provides food to Refettorio Felix from Sainsbury’s, Marks & Spencer, Natoora, Mash, Hello Fresh and Fortnum and Mason, Whole Foods, Harrods, Paul and Gail's Bakery.
The Refettorio Felix has been launched as part of London Food Month, a major new food festival to be held annually from June 2017.
It is a month-long celebration featuring hundreds of events throughout London, showcasing London’s culinary diversity across every corner of the city. It promotes special collaborations and unique experiences across the industry with a programme full of must-see food and drinks events that range from high-end dinners to free community events, old favourites done differently to the latest lunch hotspots.
The Refettorio’s interiors have been created by designer Ilse Crawford and her London-based team Studioilse.
Her mission is to create environments where humans feel comfortable; public spaces that make people feel at home and homes that are habitable and make sense for the people who live in them. It means designing furniture and products that support and enhance human behaviour and actions in everyday life. It means restoring the human balance in brands and businesses that have lost their way.
Charles Wainwright draws on more than 25 years experience to create stunning homes in London.
Working with a small select group of private investors he purchases, redesigns and sells beautiful properties. He keeps ‘under the radar’ so you won’t find a Facebook page, a website or indeed any publicity! He has generously gifted his time and expertise to help with the transformation of St Cuthbert's.