Our Work

Gastromotiva is a non-governmental organization that harnesses the power of gastronomy to drive social change. We combat hunger and food insecurity, while generating income through education. Our journey began as a school buffet project in the home of one of our founders, chef and social entrepreneur David Hertz. With a structured program and a unique teaching methodology focused on achieving tangible results for our students, Gastromotiva partnered with universities, expanded its reach, and began offering its free courses in classrooms and laboratories of educational institutions.

A decade after Gastromotiva’s inception, in 2016, during the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, we opened the doors of Refettorio Gastromotiva in the iconic Lapa neighborhood. In partnership with Italian chef Massimo Botura, who brought the concept of the social dining hall to Brazil, and gastronomy journalist Alexandra Forbes, David Hertz created a space for connection and solidarity. At Refettorio Gastromotiva, people don’t just receive meals; they are offered a gastronomic experience that uses food as a tool to restore dignity and value to humanity.

During the pandemic, when the activities of our Refettorio Gastromotiva had to be interrupted, we reinvented our social impact model. The space was transformed into a large warehouse for non-perishable food that arrived from donations from the private sector and individuals. We mapped out leaders who were already carrying out social initiatives in their communities in an amateur way, trained these people, and together with them, created the Gastromotiva Solidarity Kitchens project. We taught these partners, who earned the title of Solidarity Cooks, the Gastromotiva methodology of integral food use, the management model for the operation of kitchens, and also provided equipment for the storage of supplies and the preparation of meals.

In parallel, for 18 years we have been training well-rounded and well-prepared professionals to work in the food and beverage sector. The quality seal of the training offered by Gastromotiva is recognized by the market and an important reference for our students to be able to enter the labor market and build successful careers.

Gastromotiva Mexico

The Gastromotiva Mexico hub was formed in 2016, with the aim of uniting local chefs, social organizations, and civil society using the transformative power of food. We brought to the country the concept of integral food use, applied in local Solidarity Kitchens and in our free courses.