Cooking with your Neighbors at Wallingford Community Kitchen

100924_comty-kitch1_250.jpgSeptember 24, 2010. This evening we taped footage at the Sustainable Wallingford Community Kitchen in Seattle. This is not a place, it’s a monthly event run by volunteers.

People from the neighborhood gather to prepare food, cook the dishes, and sit down to eat the finished meal together. When we arrived, we found a recipe and ingredients – local when possible – at each of several tables, along with cutting mats, tools, bowls and other implements.

In addition to cooking late-summer tomato dishes for an Italian-flavored menu, this group was certainly cooking up community. Convivality. Old-timers and newbies chatting. A youngster playing toss-the-ball with anyone who’d play. Seasoned cooks explaining recipes to new learners. People making friends and deepening friendships, even while learning new skills.

We were invited by Cathy Tuttle. We heard her short content-rich presentation at the 2010 Transition Cascadia Summit on September 16, 2010. A planner by background, she’s been active in the Seattle City initiative Carbon-Neutral Community forum.

In a few weeks we’ll tape the Wallingford Community Kitchen coordinator and chef Rachel Duboff, along with Kathleen Cromp from the Wallingford Community Senior Center where the event is held. Both are active in Community Kitchens Northwest and passionate about expanding this excellent idea everywhere.

100924_comty-kitch2_300.jpgI’ll eat to that! After all, what better way to meet your neighbors than over food you’ve prepared and shared together?

Watch Things Are Cookin’ at Wallingford Community Kitchen (episode 241).


  1. I see community kitchens as the necessary element in developing the local foods economy. If produce is not manufactured into a stable product (a preserved form that can transcend seasonality) we will never approach the sustainable model. Plus, once the processing element is in place, individual producers can plan for abundance – knowing that “excess produce” will have an eventual value.

    We need to start thinking more in terms of a “systems” approach to local foods, in which we develop (1) producers, (2) processors and (3) marketers. Hopefully the recently passed Tester Amendment will help provide a framework that will get all three elements of the local food economy really rolling.

    Let the cooking (and baking, and mixing, and freezing and pickling, dehydrating and mixing) begin!


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