Thursday, June 14, 2012

Shopping Cart pop up kitchen - Luminato

The Luminato Festival is currently going on in Toronto and it has all kinds of free and ticketed arts related events.   I decide to participate in a really great concept that provides free food to people at Luminato.   It's called a Carretilla.  It is basically a bunch of grocery shopping carts that are painted orange and planks and cutting boards and washing and cooking stations are attached to them.  You have heard about Food Trucks well this is more like food carts literally.  I think it is a great idea and would love to see this kind of thing pop up at events in the future.   So I decided to participate in it to check out the whole experience of it.   I wish I had done this before I did the Jamie Oliver Food Revolution because I would have tried to do something like this instead of the dinner party I had.  Well maybe next year.


Not a great look for me but we were decked out "Pirate" style.

On the menu today was GNOCCHI  one of my favourites.  I attempted to make it years ago but have since learned a few tricks on what to do but haven't had the occasion to do it.   They did a sweet and a savoury gnocchi.    

This is how the process worked:

There was about 10 or so participants along with a few chefs and organizers.

They had a big container filled with potatoes that were already cooked, probably to save time and have them cook down a bit before starting.

There were a bunch of different stations set up.   One for peeling the potatoes, one for ricing the potatoes, one for mixing the riced potatoes with flour and salt and another one for rolling out the gnocchi into little pillows.   The chefs would then take the gnocchi and boil them and add the sweet seasoning of poppy seed and icing sugar and the savoury was a mix of beets, garlic and I think they had some parmesan for people that wanted that.

The chefs would mix up the gnocchi and then the participants would serve it to a long waiting lineup of hungry people.   The lucky people in line got to try the gnocchi for free.

I suppose the point of this event was to inspire people to cook meals like that by showing how little ingredients and skills are needed to do it.   Just a little time and effort.    

Since it was held at David Pecaut Square it had a mix of people on their lunch break and people just wandering through for Luminato events and the odd random people just curious about what was going on.

I think this would be a really cool thing to set up to feed homeless people.   Gather a bunch of people that want to learn a new recipe and have them do a fast prep assembly line style and have it ready for people to eat quickly.    I am not sure how to make it work for the people that need it , but I see this as an option to grow into something bigger.

I love to see things like this happen in the city    It shows how much the people in Toronto are longing for street foods and other options than Hot Dogs which is why the artist created this installation in the first place.  Street food is a way for people visiting a city to get to know the culture of the city instead of trying to figure out what restaurant to go to.   You can walk down the street and instantly see what you might want to try.    Opening a restaurant is risky unless you have a whole lot of money.   We need to have other options for people with great creativity and passion but don't have the means to open a restaurant.

It was a beautiful sunny day to do it and I hope that they get a great turnout for the rest of the festival.

It's a fantastic idea that I would like to see continue anywhere, anytime.

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