War Gastronomy is a dual-industrial tricycle system that unfolds into a pop-up food cart and cultural archive of personal stories of relocation, dislocation and overcoming struggle. We see our project as micro-commissions where we give you a chance to express your personal or family histories. Then we share your stories and your food.
Together, Chris Treggiari and Justin Hoover trade food for personal stories of relocation (cultural, geographic, emotional, psychological, etc) as told to us by participants. You write down a recipe and a short story of your own relocation and we will cook your recipe and tell your story. As you are hanging out eating, we tell you the personal story of the food you're eating, which was given to us by a former participant. We offer 150 small meals to our story-writing participants over 3 hours.
For our newest manifestation of our project we will be working with local organization Peralta Hacienda and local Ohlone Nation cultural leaders to set up large tables in urban public spaces. These communal tables will be covered with a table cloth and we will serve their personal recipes of relocation. The tables are located in public and we will be allowing and encouraging anyone to sit at table, eat food and join in the conversation for free. However, the only requirement is that if you sit down you must write your own story of relocation directly onto the table cloth. The writing will be later turned into embroidery and displayed in art galleries and other cultural venues. The stories will also enter our archive of hundreds of recipes of relocation.
This project will help break down the silos between the diverse people in our city. The tables will be set up in spaces such as on Market St. where young tech industry gurus are side by side with homeless, graffiti artists are next to lawyers but fail to communicate. This project brings all these people to the table.
We need more chances to share and tell our personal stories of struggle and achievement. We need to meet each other, people outside our normal circles, and in ways that are harboring generosity and compassion, breaking down barriers between people even if just for a few minutes while you share a small meal, and awesome is learning the deep histories of a family that you'll probably never see again.
Funded by San Francisco, CA (April 2015)