Top Italian chef Massimo Bottura to open OzHarvest Refettorio in Sydney

Massimo Bottura and OzHarvest's Ronni Kahn will bring the refettorio concept to Crown Street.
Massimo Bottura and OzHarvest's Ronni Kahn will bring the refettorio concept to Crown Street. Photo: Joshua Morris

What could a chef with a three-Michelin-starred restaurant in Italy named the World's Best Restaurant possibly add to his bag of tricks? Some restaurant bounty in Surry Hills, of course.

Massimo Bottura's partnership with OzHarvest's Ronni Kahn to bring the Italian chef's refettorio restaurant concept to Australia has a home. And an opening date. The former home of the Nepalese Kitchen, at 481 Crown Street, will open in late 2020 as OzHarvest Refettorio.

Bottura has taken the refettorio concept – where renowned chefs use rescued food to create meals for vulnerable locals – from Italy to London and Rio.

"We hope our ambassador chefs will do a night there each year," Kahn says. "It'll open for lunch for vulnerable people and nights as a restaurant to sustain the venture."

OzHarvest Refettorio is off to a good start. A generous philanthropist provided the site, David Clark has joined as pro bono creative interior director and Vince Frost has volunteered to work on the branding.

"We are still looking for other assistance. We'll need plates and tables and chairs, there's a strong emphasis on sustainability. Anyone who can help – tradies welcome," Kahn says.

Kahn and Bottura first met in 2015 and have hosted pop-up dinners together.

While travel to and from Europe remains difficult to gauge, Kahn remains hopeful Bottura will be able to visit the Sydney start-up in its first few months of operation.