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With “Restaurants against hunger” the great chefs embrace solidarity

From October 16th to December 31st, chefs and restaurateurs invite their customers to choose a dish or a menu with which to donate meals to the needy

October 16th is World Food Day, a day which has been celebrated every year since 1945, when it was instituted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Its purpose is to raise awareness on the issues of poverty, hunger, malnutrition and food security through activities and events that take place in over 50 nations across the world. Italy is among them, and in addition to the institutional initiatives of FAO, it counts several activities promoted by humanitarian organizations and others in every corner of the country. This is the case of “Restaurants against Hunger”, an event promoted by Action Against Hunger, an international humanitarian organization committed to the fight against hunger and malnutrition with the aim of strengthening the resilience of families with food, water, health and education, to achieve sustainable change.

“Restaurants against Hunger”, now in its IX edition, focuses this year on the theme “We feed solidarity”. From October 16th to December 31st, chefs and restaurateurs who participate in the campaign invite their customers to choose a dish or menu through which to donate two euros, fifty cents for a “solidarity pizza” and the same for a bottle of water. In the same way, restaurants can choose to support the event with a special evening that donates part of the proceeds to Action Against Hunger. This is an opportunity to enjoy the pleasure of a lunch or dinner and at the same time help to support the humanitarian organization’s projects. The restaurants participating in this initiative include Alto Ristorante in Fiorano Modenese, Particolare Milano in Milan, Scatto in Turin.

In particular, the recipe that Pantografo reserves for its readers is from Il Sereno Al Lago, the restaurant in Torno (Como) where Michelin-star chef Raffaele Lenzi is the protagonist, along with other colleagues, of  “Cene Super Solidali”, the event that launches the campaign to take place across Italy from October 16th to 19th.

Selecting dishes conceived to produce no waste and with attention to raw vegetable materials, the chef explains that «in a world of incoherence and inequality, it is the duty of the more privileged, such as me, to take concrete actions inspired by respect and solidarity. This is why I decided to join the campaign. To join a group of people who, informed and aware, feel the need to share considerations, find solutions and enact real projects destined to make the change that guarantees greater equity». He is echoed by another protagonist of “Cene Super Solidali”, Cristian Benvenuto from La Filanda in Macherio who, together with his friends Giuseppe Postorino and Fabio Zanetello, conceived a menu for the occasion that relies on a blend of the contemporary Mediterranean cuisine of the first two and the northern cuisine of the third: «To do real good with an activity that I love gives me great pride – states Benvenuto. Attention to waste, circularity and reducing inequality are themes that are particularly important to me».

The funds collected during “Ristoranti contro la Fame”, which includes new celebrity ambassador chefs such as Gennaro Esposito, Ernst Knam, Roberto Valbuzzi and Filippo La Mantia, are destined to sustain the campaign titled “Mai Più Fame” – No More Hunger – with which Action Against Hunger funds specific projects every year to guarantee food and build independence for people and communities, in Italy and around the world. At this moment, the organization is particularly active in Italy, in the Sahel, in Lebanon and in the Central African Republic.

More specifically the project “No More Hunger: From Emergency to Autonomy”, underway in Milan since last year, is dedicated to fighting poverty and food insecurity in our country

The selection of the participants was particularly focused on families with two or more children, especially those with single parents or children under the age of five, with pregnant women or new mothers, with unemployed or under-employed parents. The guidelines of their intervention included: a contribution to food education to encourage healthy balanced diets, job training to improve personal, social and professional skills, in a group process that seeks to rekindle motivation and enhance the transversal competencies of the beneficiaries, so that they might find employment. The goal now is to increase the number of people it reaches in Milan and to bring the programme to Naples as well.

In the Sahel, Action Against Hunger supports the implementation of artificial intelligence to fight climate change, thanks to the project titled “Pastoral Early Warning System” (PEWS) which combines satellite imagery and the data collected by shepherds to monitor drought and guide breeders towards better grazing areas. Over the years, the organization has developed an increasingly accurate early warning system to build resilience and the capacity for adaptation, in a region that is most affected by hunger and climate and environmental shock.

In Lebanon, the conflict in Syria has had a profound impact, due in part to the surge of refugees that took a great toll on the country’s resources and infrastructure. Here Action Against Hunger seeks to reduce the tension between communities and mitigate the environmental impact of the settlements. Conceived in a perspective of sustainability and autonomy-building for local communities, the project takes a global and integrated approach to water, sanitation and hygiene (Wash). The project also proposes to improve access to health and nutrition services, as well as further women’s capacity to adopt optimal nutritional practices to provide adequate nutrition for babies and children.

In the Central African Republic, where the string of political and military crises has led to a context of severe insecurity and difficult access to basic services, Action Against Hunger has begun a project of nutritional, health, mental and psycho-social assistance. The project is organized for communities of people displaced within the country, repatriated citizens and hosting populations, with particular attention to pregnant and nursing women and to children under the age of five. The final aim is to contribute to reducing the mortality and morbidity of the populations affected by the crisis, improving access to services and reinforcing the response capacity of local organisms in the areas of healthy nutrition and mental health.

So just choose one of the restaurants or pizzerias that participate in “Ristoranti contro la Fame” to contribute to the cause. We will learn new recipes and reinforce our social commitment.


Chef Raffaele Lenzi, Il Sereno Al Lago, Torno (Como).




500 g white fish meat from amberjack/seabass/snapper, 18 g of fresh red pepper, 70 g of scallions, 25 g salt, 140 g lime juice, 340 g soya milk, 10 g ginger, 250 g fumet (reduced from 1,25 L to 250 g), gelatin as needed.

Mix all ingredients together and marinate for 12 hours.

Filter, pressing to extract all juices.

Every 650 g of ceviche sauce, add 10 g of gelatin and put one charge into the siphon.



1 fennel.

Peel the outer skin of the fennel with a potato peeler.

Cut into a brunoise.



1 amberjack fillet, 500g Demerara sugar, 250 g sea salt, 250 g fine salt, 30 g Szechuan pepper.

Marinate the amberjack fillet for about 15/20 minutes with the other ingredients.

Prepare the tartare.



Powdered codium, as required, sea fennel.


In a slightly concave dish, season the fennel brunoise and amberjack tartare with a bit of oil.

Place the ceviche foam on the fish.

Complete with sea fennel and dust with codium.


On the cover: Sahel (Photo: ©Lys Arango for Action Against Hunger)


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