Massimo Bottura Opens Community Kitchen in Kensington

Celebrated chef, Massimo Bottura has taken the bold decision to open a community kitchen in Kensington. The Refettorio Felix community kitchen is a spacious and stylish Ilse Crawford designed work, nestled inside St. Cuthbert’s Community Centre. The majority of visitors to the restaurant will be homeless or vulnerable people, however paying guests and visitors can also sit down to eat. The keyword in the kitchen is ‘community’ and this can be seen throughout the design.

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Airy but intimate

St. Cuthbert’s is a renovated community space, which once functioned as a church and this can still be seen in the original aspects. The double height hall features long, leaded windows and a hanging dais rests at one end of the room while a raised stage occupies the other. However, Ilse Crawford, working with her studio, Studioilse, was intent on creating a complementary, but secular impression. She was keen to infuse the space with a sense of comfort and pleasure, which is so often missing from sterile, community and social projects.

In the green room

The entire room is bathed in duck egg green, including the walls, radiators, stage and tabletops. This makes for a very soothing environment, which is further developed with small, individual cactus and succulent plants scattered along the windowsills and tabletops. Large, paper lantern light shades hang low to create a safe and comforting space and rattan chair and sofas in muted greys and browns, give diners the overall feeling of visiting a home.

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All within budget

The entire allowance for Refettorio Felix was just £37,500. For this, the designers had to budget for all kitchen equipment including, sinks, ovens and solid door refrigeration. The restaurant received charitable donations of equipment but if you are looking for refrigeration for your own project, consider a company such as

Kensington welcomes Massimo Bottura

While not all of the visitors will be familiar with the name, Massimo Bottura, his reputation in the area is certainly increasing. Best known for being the head chef of Osteria Francescana, a three-star Michelin restaurant in Modena, Bottura is also a published author. His book ‘Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef’ was a huge bestseller. However, these days, in Kensington at least, he is best known for his tasty and nutritious meals produced from donated food.

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