This is about the missing knowledge and equipment (and space!) in our kitchens to process produce! This idea of a "public kitchen" where you can go and get advice as well as the necessary tools makes having good organic food convenient, supports the value of cooking yourself and a social experience and it helps to promote healthy food and preserving traditional processing methods and receipes.
You can use the juice press for example and there is also someone who knows the tricks - just as grandma used to.
Juice is just one example amongst many; we could also think of canning, smoking meat/fish, centrifuging honeycombs, baking bread etc. which also shows children where the food actually comes from and how it is treated!
CONNECTING PRODUCTION AND CONSUMER
The original idea is to bring your own homegrown food to process it in the public kitchen. It also teams up with local farmers who deliver locally grown food to be sold at the kitchen or where you can go for picking apples, strawberries, pumpkins.. (thanks Maia Smith!)
The kitchen could also be part of a public garden and grow its own supply. (Thanks to Tania Jiménez and Kat Caverly!). Waste material from the kitchen would find its way to a compost in the garden where it is given back to the natural cycle.
To give consumers an idea where there food actually comes from and how it is treated before it arrives in the supermarkets, the kitchen could organize trips to farms, abattoirs, animal breedings, burger manufacturers and the like and show/involve people in the process for a day. (Pete)
There will always be staff, the "grandmas", who overlook the facilities and who can offer assistance on receipes, cooking and using the tools.
People can pay rent per use or become members aswell. A subscription (thanks Ronan Harringtion) should include certain bonuses and incentrives like cheaper price or some kind of receipe newsletter etc.
Local chefs could offer open tutorials, cooking classes and ´exchange your meals´-evenings, where people come over to cook several dishes, exchange them in the end and bring home food they can defrost during the week after work. (thanks to Tania Jiménez, Katie Brennan, Rachel Greenwald and Lorenn)
Other possible offers might be after school programms for kids, where they can learn how to cook and get education about healthy food. (thanks Jill Dovale). This educational aspect could also be interesting in general for everyone, for example who to store food the right way etc.
A small restaurant or store could be attached as well and corporate/group events, community groups or businesses could have events where ´people go as a group pick food, come to the communal kitchen for some fresh juice, and then perhaps donate the pickled or canned items to local food shelters´ (thanks to Maia Smith)
Also local supermarkets could help and donate their leftovers (Thanks to Peter Matzen) and products close to their sell-by dates. This products can be used to cook dishes, can vegetables etc that can be sold in the kitchen shop or given freely to people in needs.
A Pop-Up version would be a great addition to ensure accessibility and spread the word (Audrey Barnes).
Neighbourhood Food Foraging Treasure Hunts Another idea for a general service or special evening courses might be to encourage people to bring food they store at home since along time but have no idea what to cook with it. People can exchange new recipes and fresh ideas for their diet and the stored food will be kept from getting thrown away.
Focus on Health To stress the coherence of food and health and to further emphasize the educational idea as integral part of the kitchen, certain days that could focus on food and health would be a good addition to what the kitchen offers. Topics like "how to cook for people with intolerances (gluten, lactose) and allergies (nuts, flour..)" or tips "how to avoid and replace sugar, wheat flour etc.", "vegan cooking" or cooking with regards to religious principles could be interesting as well as general tips about healthy diet and reasonable food storage and preparation. (Alcove)
In order to use the facilities also at times of the day where there are less people coming by, it could be rented out to potential small food entrepreneurs, who could use the kitchen instead of investing in their own (or not being able to do it at all) one that meets all necessary standards and regulations (thanks to Jill Dovale and Pamela Steiner).
It would make sense to rent out the space on a contract basis to local food entrepreneurs in the early mornings where there might be less people using the kitchen anyways.
Courses make sense in the evenings, students late mornings or early afternoons and there is still enough time for "open kitchen" hours in between. (Cara O)
To simplify the time management and scheduling of the facilities, an online platform should be created additionally for time slot sign ups (thanks to Miles Masci).
It would also help to show events, photos, recipes and info on all about the kitchen and food in general, like what is seasonal etc. Using platforms like Facebook location 'check-in's or Foursquare (thanks to Kimberly Fisher).
The platform should be designed interactive, so people can get involved and suggest new services they would like to be offered by the kitchen to ensure that it always meets the needs and wishes of its users.
credits image: http://homescentscandlecompany.com/images/kitchen.jpg