What began as a community block party turned into a two-week collaborative food project that culminated with the unveiling of The Takeout Window. In collaboration with 9 “neighbor-cooks” (people from the block who know their way around the kitchen), chef and artist Maggie Lawson converted her home studio in North Oakland into a one-day sidewalk eatery. Complete with a stairs to walk up to the raised window and a seating area, the scene was set for day of story-telling, laughter, and of course, good eating.
The Takeout Window featured 9 dishes that ranged from Zeida’s amazing vegetarian tamale plates to Mario and Chris’s scrumptious wood fired pizzas.
The hungry and curious climbed the stairs to the Takeout Window where a once stranger shared a dish created from the heart. Friendly, instructive signs encouraged eaters to “Introduce yourself by name” and “Say see you all soon
Instead of setting prices, neighbor-cooks asked for a donation and the contributions became about the genuine exchange of gifts between neighbors. Cooks and eaters alike connected deeply to this spirit of generosity and donations more than covered the cost of the food.
Next to the window stood an altar created by Angela Mictlanxochitl Anderson comprised of materials collected primarily from the nature in the surrounding area.
The altar stood to pay homage to the transformational quality of relating through the making and sharing food. Each neighbor-cook put their food on the altar to commemorate their participation.