This year, he has been chosen as the 2016 European Chef of the Year. The award was presented during Madrid Fusión, an annual gastronomy summit attracting over 500 chefs from around the world. In that occasion, Bottura was praised not only for his undoubtable culinary attitudes, but also for helping the Caritas charity to set up an experimental soup kitchen, Refettorio Ambrosiano, in Milan that uses food that would have otherwise been thrown away to feed those in need.
As highlighted by the President of Madrid Fusión, José Carlos Capel, "For the immense value of this initiative Massimo Bottura deserves to be named European Chef of the Year. He proved that you can make delicious cuisine and avoid wasting food. The success of Refettorio Ambrosiano is proven by the fact that his initiative continues to work in Milan with dozens of volunteers and is set to spread around the world."