100 Strong Preview Dinner

Click here for video: 100 Strong Preview Dinner

100 Strong was originally conceived of as a 100-person sit down meal that brings together the residents of the changing Bushrod neighborhood in Oakland, CA. On May 17, 2015, as a test run for the 100 person meal, 20 residents gathered. The table was set with placemats eliciting reflection from the attendees and bouquets from locally gathered flowers. The meal was prepared in collaboration with two local chefs, Chef Ikeena Reed and Keri Keifer who drew inspiration from their relationship to the neighborhood. Neighbors Esmeralda Marquez and Roy Yipp constructed a temporary parklett on the street and invited other residents.


Chef Maggie Lawson
Classic Green Salad with California Bay Dressing

“I’ve been living and cooking in Oakland for 11 years. I grew up in the Midwest learning to cook from my mom. This dish weaves together the salad my mom made for our family with the flavor of locally foraged bay leaves. I see my cooking as a reflection of my roots in the Midwest with the influence of my chosen home in Oakland.”

Chef Ikeena Reed-Hartman
Green Peppercorn Crusted 
Pork Loin Roast

“This is one of my original recipes created out of my love for my Great Grandmother’s Pot Roast. She lived in a nearby Victorian on 53rd. When I think of the neighborhood, it somehow always comes back to food–the smells, the tastes the ingredients that came from her kitchen. And the people who stopped by all the time, just to say hello and get a plate. A huge connection to community is forged whenever you are feeding a large family with one pot.”

Keri Keifer
Dessert: Nasturtium Petal ‘Unfunfetti’ Cupcakes with a Beet-Tinged Vanilla Buttercream

“I foraged these nasturtiums from the neighborhood. We walk these blocks and we rush to and fro in this city without realizing how much nourishment surrounds us. I love taking walks around these blocks and honoring the overlooked food and plant medicine that’s growing right in our midst.”

Stay Tuned

This preview set the stage for another dinner to take place in October. With many lessons learned, we plan on creating something even more impactful and participatory. Please stay tuned and for more information about how to volunteer contact me, Maggie Lawson, at marymargaret36@hotmail.com


  • Chef Ikeena Reed and Colin Hardman from Keena’s Kitchen
  • Keri Keifer, Pastry Chef, Gardener and Photographer
  • Terry Schmidbauer from TL Schmidbauer Photography for documenting the entire day with photography
  • The Playground Cooperative for the generous use of their kitchen
  • Mario Vargas for his volunteering in the kitchen and Ernesto Olmos for blessing the space pre-dinner
  • Esmeralda Marquez for inviting all our friends in the neighborhood and brainstorming how to make it all happen
  • Roy Yipp for building a beautiful parklette on Poirier to keep us out of traffic
This entry was published on June 19, 2015 at 3:33 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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