Robin Hood Restaurant - Detail - ©

‘Robin Hood’ Restos Charge Rich, Feed Poor

There’s something new happening in some of the worlds ‘other’ countries. By ‘other’, I mean those with great divides between their well-off wealthiest citizens and their destitute masses. It’s been dubbed the ‘Robin Hood’ principle and it may soon be coming to a restaurant near you…

Robin Hood Restaurant - © NPR.comPadré Ángel welcomes guests at his Robin Hood Restaurant in Madrid.

The Robin Hood principle was defined by pioneer, 80–year-old Spanish Catholic priest, Ángel García Rodriguez (pictured in our main page teaser), who has been dubbed simply ‘Padre Ángel’. He founded and runs the downtown Madrid Robin Hood restaurant. There, regular customers have breakfast and lunch and pay a premium on their bills to help finance a free supper, later in the day, for the city’s homeless.

Volunteers help in the kitchen and dining room. Celebrity Chefs are booked in for weeks to come, for the privilege of cooking at Robin Hood one night a week. Robin Hood is a place where, Padré Ángel says, everyone can dine with dignity.

“I want [the needy] to eat with the same dignity as any other customer. And the same quality, with glasses made of crystal, not plastic, and in an atmosphere of friendship and conversation,” he told PBS recently.

Meanwhile, in Rio…

Internationally renowned, Michilin-starred chef Massimo Bottura is turning superannuated, ugly and leftover food into dining delights for the needy. Every evening a different local fine-dining Chef superintends the preparation of a supper for the poor using whatever has been donated to the cause that day.

The Locale is a very special eatery called RefettoRio Gastromotiva, home of Bottura’s international Gastromotiva program. Gastromotiva is actually a world-wide initiative hosting up[scale ‘soup kitcvhens’ in a number of countries and sponsoring events to highlight the cause. It launched in Milan, Italy, for Expo Milan 2015. Like Padré Ángel’s effort in Madrid, Bottura’s is more about culture than charity.

“It’s involving architects, artists, designer[s], to create a space full of beauty and culture,” Bottura told PBS. “”One of the most important things of this project is we give dignity, rebuild dignity. It’s not just about good food.”

Watch for the opening of a Robin Hood or Gastromotiva eatery in your community…

~ M.James