Victory Kitchen is a pop-up kitchen and resource center. It was born in Berkeley and recently relocated to Detroit. Victory Kitchen focuses on equitable access to food, personal growth through creative expression, and community service. Core activities include a donation-based biweekly dinner and craft night, an artist in residence program, and many intermittent workshops and collaborations with local organizations.
I started Victory Kitchen in 2015 in the Bay Area, where I was born and raised. Situated in a renovated warehouse on the intersection of three distinct communities - Berkeley, Oakland, and Emeryville - Victory's first home brought together folks from all walks of live to play, eat, and learn together.
Over the past two years, the Victory community turned a little warehouse into a home, learned about coffee roasting, unicycling, marmalade, zhoug, and banana ice cream making, bean sprouting, sourdough baking, seed bomb making, Shibori dyeing, sachet sewing, seed paper pulping, cider pressing, soap making, prayer flag stamping, and storytelling.
For Valentines Day, we made cards for our loved ones and care packages and notes full of love and power for 80 women in the Bay Area Rescue Mission's Women's Center. During the holidays, we decorated homemade ginger cookies and popped them into more than 50 dinner bags for folks who might not get to enjoy a gutbusting meal with family. We made Mother's Day cards for the various powerful women in our lives. We partnered with Homeless Lives Matter to cook pozole for 150 people experiencing homelessness in the East Bay. We hosted five brilliant artists in residence, raised money for a local screenprinting shop, and collected canned goods, personal care items, and warm clothing to make the necessities a little easier for a few of our neighbors.
We huddled into our tiny (seriously, TINY) kitchen and prepared our meals together. We ate Japanese ramen, Texan three bean chili, Ghanaian spinach stew, Wampanoag Sobaheg, Indian Mulligatawny, Tibetan Thenthuk, Tunisian Shakshouka, Thai Tom Kha, Nigerian fried tomato stew, Mexican tortilla soup, cheddar broccoli stew, curried chickpeas, my dad's mac & cheese, my grandmother's vegetable soup with noodles, and cried purple tears into a lavender navy bean soup dedicated to Prince.
Most recently, I met with over 50 stakeholders on a cross country road trip focused on researching community food systems. I called this trip Field Work. It was life-changing, overwhelming, illuminating, and the best crash course education I could have asked for. This led me to move to Detroit, a community so rich with loving, brilliant people working to create alternative community systems every day.