meeting notes: dec 17

hello n.o.c.k.
aka commie kitsch.

the months keep rollin’ by and we continue to grow and be so super awesome. december 13th was the first ever community kitchen speakeasy supper party secret cafe pop down restaurant: the commie kitsch. and it was a complete spectacular success! we surpassed breaking even and can now buy some more supplies and continue to support ourselves in 2013.

below are the notes from our december 17th debrief of commie kitsch and some future plans for the next one…

— report back —
some cooks noted the high stress levels in the final hours before dinner time (6:15pm). there was a lot to do, one tiny kitchen and one tiny oven with loaves of bread everywhere. tasks were kinda free-flowing and most of the responsibility in the week of preparation fell on the shoulders of just a few people. common predicament, huh? well, it doesn’t have to be.

ideas for making a plan:
— tasks list!
we talked about making a task list in the weeks before the next event. this would be a big cardboard sign that would list the tasks/responsibilities so it’s open for all to see and self-delegation can happen. folks can put their names next to tasks they want to take charge of, and everyone would have a way to keep an eye on what’s taken care of, who’s responsible, and what’s left to do.

— adaptation is important.
even though there might be someone who commits to bottom-lining a particular task, being adaptive and flexible is crucial to making it through. one fascinating occurrence at the commie kitsch was how anna had signed up to help wash dishes for the event, but soon was filleting the fish and eventually running the kitchen and taking charge of plating the food. anna has experience in this arena and took to it when the need was there. what about the dishes? brett got to it after six soviets and a quart of mead, so no worries!

— better prep work!!
in addition to a task list, setting deadlines days ahead of time for specific tasks is crucial. also, we should have the menu complete the week before, look it over, and decide what food items could be prepared the day before the event, as well as decide how much can we realistically handle prepping/cooking the day of the event. perhaps these decisions could be made by the cooking crew who make the menu.

some other suggestions/improvements:
— heavy dishwashing before & during dinner, fo sho

— extend dinner time one hour (6-9pm)? to allow guests to digest and enjoy dessert before the bar crowd rushes the scene

— increase dinner capacity to 30 people? we had the food to feed, but more tables confronts space issues.

— have a separate bar area on the other side of the backyard?

— use nico’s kitchen for dinner-time kitchen, plating, etc

— have screen-printed drink tickets for dinner attendees to use at bar

— have 2 dinner times? (6-8pm, 8-10pm)

— make sure to disclose on flyer that this is an outdoor event

— have a specific decoration crew to bling out the space (marigny house?? libby?? csilla??)

— tip jar for musicians?

— if event is on a thursday, coordinate with the pizza speakeasy so we don’t overlap

— ask virginia ruth to help with the bar again. they were super rad help!

— let’s be culturally sensitive —

so the verdict is still up in the air as to whether or not we were pushing the soviet jokes a little too far or not for this past event, but it is really important to us that we be aware of ourselves culturally when holding events that make delicious food outside of our culturally-void american palate. the suggestion to have our next speakeasy be indian-themed was questioned so that we could be sure that we aren’t just doing a world-tour of flavors and risk tokenizing & perhaps insulting other cultures by being a bunch of mostly white folks making food that we don’t really know much about. hopefully the focus will be about celebrating a culture instead of incidentally appropriating it by theming our dinners with the cuisines we are fascinated by.

in response to this, we came up with the following ideas for future speakeasies:
— stoner night
— gas station gourmet
— 5 course pie dinner

please submit your suggestions to us!


we set a date of **thurs january 24th** to hold another speakeasy supper party secret cafe pop up restaurant.

the first meeting to plan this event will be **thurs january 3rd @ 6pm**
keep posted for the location, but probably at our usual spot. potluck style.

see you there,

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  • WHO?

    community kitchen is a volunteer-run food share in New Orleans that brings together folks who love to grow, gather, cook, and serve food in order to reduce food waste and hunger while supporting those most marginalized by capitalism and the industrial food system.
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