Tuesday, November 21, 2006
QUEER FOOD FOR LOVE is a collaboration of queer artists, activists, and cooks who create food on a semi-regular basis for community, not profit. We are part participatory pop-up restaurant, part secret-cafe, part eat-in, part community dinner, part DIY grassroots affinity group for sustainable solutions to social, environmental, and food justice issues. We are feminists who cook, boys who bake, volunteers, dishwashers, crafters, chefs, artists, musicians, filmmakers, performers, writers, wage laborers, teachers, social workers, urban homesteaders, community gardeners, tender-hearted lovers, and creative hands, organizing around food for community in our own cities, with our own, shared resources.
We created QUEER FOOD FOR LOVE as a solution to issues facing our community but which speak to the alienation many people experience in cities- how can we each contribute our individual skills and talents to serve a larger community; how can we bring a little of our love for food, plants, and animals into an urban setting; how can we collaborate with one another instead of competing with one another in the capitalist marketplace; how can we nourish our emotional needs and heal our community from inside, against the prejudice we experience in our jobs and daily lives outside our chosen families?
People often don't get a chance to contribute to something larger than themselves, and often the roles in restaurants, between "chef" and "diner," between "server" and "dishwasher" are clearly defined, and reinforced by race and class. At QUEER FOOD FOR LOVE, we invite people into the kitchen, share skills, collaborate, teach one another, divide labor equitably and honor each person's place in the "restaurant." Some of us apply our skills and knowledge from the food industry, some of us explore our hidden talents and feed those parts of us that are not nourished by our dayjobs. Because we are queer and apply the lessons of our community to our work, we cook and serve without distinction to gender, and without the sometimes macho, sometimes sexist roles that are given to people in traditional restaurant settings. That is part of what makes our food "queer."
Our goal is to bring folks together and celebrate community around the pleasure of food, a type of food that is body-, mind-, planet- and community-positive. We source our ingredients locally and organically as much as possible. Our menus are plant-based and vegan, in order to affirm our commitment to serving environmentally responsible food, raise the profile of artisanal vegan cooking, and allow the greatest number of people to eat together.
At QF4L, events, you will find people of all genders and gender presentation working together. No one is stared at or marginalized because they are gay or trans. We provide a safe space to be visibly queer and affirm our commitment to building community and respecting the environment. We are queers who value and respect community projects, honor living beings and earth, and enjoy sitting at table with strangers and friends, in order to build an ever-livelier, ever-healthier, more creative, joyful, and participatory rural-to-urban community.
We have operated in San Francisco since early 2007. We chose the name QUEER FOOD FOR LOVE in homage to a monthly underground vegetarian restaurant that operates in Paris, which some of us had been to or worked in, in France. There is now also an art and food event called PINK KITCHEN in Milan, serving vegetarian food by Italian queers and ex-pats. And recently, some folks in London also started their own event named QUEER FOOD FOR LOVE. Each organization operates independently and is autonomously self-organized, in true DIY, grassroots fashion. We are proud to be part of international movement to bring farm-to-table consciousness to our local communities, and queer and feminist consciousness to kitchens, eating experiences, and food