Montreal

Montreal chef turns Olympic food waste into gourmet meals

A Montreal chef is travelling to Rio de Janeiro next month for the Paralympic Games, taking on what promises to be a gruelling challenge: feeding 5,000 of the city's less fortunate.

Antonio Park joins top cooks from around world in quest against food waste

Westmount chef Antonio Park is headed to Brazil to cook for the city's homeless. (Park Restaurant)

A Montreal chef is travelling to Rio de Janeiro next month for the Paralympic Games, taking on what promises to be a gruelling challenge: feeding 5,000 of the city's less fortunate. 

Antonio Park, who runs both the Park and Lavanderia restaurants in Westmount, is part of a group of chefs planning to turn leftovers from the Olympic Games into gourmet dishes.

Park was invited to Rio by Italy's famous chef Massimo Bottura.

​With questions swirling over the $12 billion US price tag of South America's first Olympics, Bottura wanted to make a statement about the Games' sustainability. He decided to tackle one symbol of Olympic waste: the more than 230 tons of food supplied daily to prepare 60,000 meals for athletes, coach and staff.

Renowned Italian chef Massimo Bottuma is hoping that chefs around the world will join his waste reduction campaign. (CBC News)

Bottura said he was inspired by Pope Francis' advocacy for the poor and modeled his project on a similar one he organized last year in an abandoned theatre during the Milan world's fair.

His aim is to educate people about food waste in order to help feed the 800 million in the world who are hungry.

Park met Bottura earlier this year while the two were serving meals as part of a fundraiser in Montreal.

The famous Italian chef dined at his Westmount restaurant, Park, and invited him to join his team in Rio.

Park will spend nearly two days preparing for the meal, then he will feed some 5,000 people. 

But he can't yet say what's on the menu.

"I have no idea what I am getting," he said. "It all depends on the waste and what's the over-order that they did over there."

with files from Associated Press

now