How was Rob de Matt's idea born and what does it consist of?
Rob de Matt was born from an intuition of our chef Edoardo shortly after organizing a demonstration event that made subjects work together with psychiatric disability and top chef. From this experience, and also taking inspiration from a starred restaurant in London that integrates 60% of the staff with people in the process of social reintegration, we decide together to create a similar activity, of an entrepreneurial nature and from continuous character. The evolution of this reasoning led us to the creation of Rob de Matt, not only a restaurant and bistro, but also Association which caters to people with stories of marginality and disadvantage with the purpose of reintegrate them into the social fabric by carrying out vocational training courses. In this sense, Rob de Matt's mission is that of promote inclusion, sociality, care and protection of the weakest by contrasting situations of hardship.
How do your social reintegration programs work?
First of all, I would like to specify that the educators are not us, but expert professionalism who work for various associations. I refer in particular to the Training Service Center of Pavia, to the Don Gnocchi Foundation, atAFOL and al CELAV of Milan, to the "Samarkand" Educational Community and al ethno-psychiatry service of the Niguarda hospital, all realities with which we are building a truly stimulating path. It is the educators who work there who propose the people they deem most suitable for carrying out a social reintegration activity; in a certain sense they function as "filters", presenting us with profiles that already within their structure have distinguished themselves for good conduct and proactivity.
Once these figures have been identified, we proceed to prepare gods ad hoc training programs, constantly dialoguing with educators. Each program addresses a specific environment of our restaurant: the dining room, the kitchen and the garden. At this point, collaboration contracts are activated which are structured roughly like internships. At the end of theeducational experience the skills developed by the kids can turn into a real one work contract within our reality or in other related realities with which their educators are in contact.
Have there been any successful cases?
Among our chefs, one derives from a 'post traineeship recruitment, and I'll tell you more: I consider it one supporting column of the project, both for the quality of the food it prepares, and for the passion and energy it puts into the craft. But this is not the only case, the room manager was also hired after successfully completing the internship experience.
On the other hand, I know of a guy who, after completing the training project, immediately found a job like chef. There are cases, but even if there were none, I don't think this would take anything away from the experience itself: finding a job after an experience of this type is simply an added value, but the very meaning of the experience, education. that derives from it, learning to relate to others and to work and confront in a group are all elements that bring with them a high value of personal and professional growth.
Tell me about Dergano: how does Rob de Matt fit into the urban redevelopment process of the neighborhood?
Dergano is a growing neighborhood where you can breathe a beautiful air, where many small realities do not just exist but they strive to communicate with each other. To give you a concrete example, a network has been set up to promote initiatives in the two districts of Bovisa and Dergano called Tripillà. This term in Milanese dialect means be in constant motion, go back and forth, up and down, which is a bit what Rob de Matt together with the other members of the network wants to make the neighborhood do: shake it, generating social and cultural ferment. Through Tripillà a bicycle ride between Bovisa and Dergano for young and old: an event that allowed everyone to get to know each other a little better, and in a neighborhood that is reborn, I find this to be fundamental because it is precisely from knowledge and relationships that the best results creative and entertainment ideas.
What kind of activities do you organize internally, and which one do you remember with the most pleasure?
We like to propose how space receptive for the needs of associations close to us both geographically and ideologically, offering them our environment as a place to carry out various activities such as courses, meetings, parties and meetings. For our part, we also have a whole series of activities aimed at promotion of culture and entertainment. For example, every month we host one Photo exhibition different, but not only, we also do book presentations, from new products… In the summer we organize jazz and classical music concerts, but also dj set, all done so make the neighborhood alive.
I remember with satisfaction the festival dedicated to the illustrative arts that we organized this summer together with Rubber Association. The climate was beautiful: many people, many artists and many stalls, our garden was full! On that occasion we transformed into a service of street food, in the sense that we had our place in the garden and from there we served food so that people could go around the stalls and munch on something. The atmosphere was happy and relaxed, with the audience that he spoke and interacted with the artists in a spontaneous and friendly way. The exhibited works could also be purchased at very affordable figures. In short, it was a success that I hope we can replicate in the future.
Another highlight was in September when we hosted "A city to change", one three days of debates on the future of Milan which among the various guests took part the Mayor Room. Having him among us was not only gratifying but profitable for the construction of a healthy debate focused on the evolution of economic and social fabric Milanese, more and more interconnected and globalized, ready to face the challenges of a Europe in constant transformation.