Food stirs up powerful emotions. It's not so much the "what" as it is the "how" that sometimes seems to be the problem. Accessibility, artisanal, affordability, authenticity, sustainability, these are some of the buzz words of the day and each one of them are loaded. One organization making an impact person by person and bite by bite, and seemingly free from any controversy, is La Cocina.
La Cocina is an "incubator kitchen," but really, it's so much more. La Cocina serves low-income entrepreneurs launching, formalizing or expanding their food businesses by providing affordable commercial kitchen space and industry-specific assistance in order to bring their businesses quickly to a point of self-sufficiency. These businesses are often very impressive ones, making wonderful food by hand. Some of my personal favorites are the Mexican snacks or antojitos and agua frescas at El Huarache Loco that I find at the Alemany Farmer's Market, Clairessquares flapjacks that I devour every time I go to the Kabuki Sundance Theater and CMB Sweets addictive apricot jam (I like it even better than some of the more well-known cult brands). I am also crazy about Los Pastores, the Mexican restaurant that serves what has to be the best mole in town.
The organization also sponsors fund-raising classes open to the public. There have been cocktail classes, cooking classes and on September 24th there will be a class on on The Magic of Mole Uncovered, taught by the cook and owner of Los Pastores, Irma Calderon. On September 12th, you can get a first hand look and taste, at La Cocina.
What: A Taste of La Cocina Taste, drink and shop at San Francisco's incubator kitchen.