Taking It to the Streets

Community Cooking Events in San Francisco

Home cooking is often a somewhat isolated event. We usually cook for ourselves, our family and a handful of friends or colleagues. On occasion, a stranger appears in the mix, but usually they've been brought by someone we know, making them only a single degree of separation.

In San Francisco, there's a trend taking hold this summer where people, often strangers, are gathering together around finding, preparing or eating food. Potlucks, swaps, canning parties, foraging and fried chicken contests are all in service of combining home cooking with community.

Read on for several events happening this summer and leave a comment on what's happening in your city.

An Eat-In is when a group of people assemble in public in order to share a home-cooked meal. The concept originated last year in San Francisco after the Slow Food Nation event, but there have been several Eat-Ins popping up across the country since then, including one in Germany. Their website provides all the details on how to stage an eat-in. In particular an organization called Time for Lunch is trying to coordinate Eat-ins in every state on September 7th in support of healthy food in schools. So far they've got 91 events in 38 states--start one now in your community!

The Yes, We Can people are at it again and this month its cucumber pickles! Sign up to spend July 19th in La Cocina's kitchen with other canning geeks or support the project by purchasing a flat of pickles a few days later ($35.) Also planned is a foraging and canning swap to be held on the eve of their not-to-be missed Eat Real Food Festival (Aug 28-30). Details to come.

18 Reasons is hosting a kitchen supply swap on July 9th. Bring your extra candy thermometers and chopping boards and come home with a new-to-you mixing bowl! Members $5, all others $10, wine and food included.

Do you think you make the best fried chicken in San Francisco? Omnivore Books on Food is hosting a fried-chicken contest, also on July 9th. Bring your own entry or come as a taster ($5 entry fee). The more the merrier!

(Image: Darrow VW for Eat-Ins.org)

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Dana Velden is a freelance food writer. She lives, eats, plays, and gets lost in Oakland, California where she is in the throes of raising her first tomato plant.

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