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Public Kitchen

UPDATED! This is an idea for a public kitchen where you can go and bring any product you would like to process, fruit for juices or marmelade, vegetables for pickles, meet or fish for smoking... The shop provides the necessary equipment as well as trained persons - "grandmas" - who can explain how to do it. People come and produce their own food!

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Written by DeletedUser

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! 


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:

Concept builds

What actions would need to be taken to turn this idea into a reality?

A Public Kitchen requires the space including a garden (shop, restaurant) and the official authorisation to run a food related business. Skilled staff - the grandmas- is needed with experience in cooking and baking and with traditional food processing techniques like canning, juice pressing, smoking etc. An online platform should support the idea and ensure simple access for people and open up the possibility of additional services like newsletters, recipes etc. To spread the word about the Kitchen, an advertisement campaign would make sense, explaining the concept and advertising offers and events.

Who might make a good partner for this project?

Local farmers are a necessary partner for ensuring the connection of food production and consumer as well as for supplying products. Local supermarkets would make sense here as well to stress the aspect of sustainability in using their left overs. Schools, adult education centers and ministries of health would be a great partner to go into education but also to spread the word about the facility. Local gardening clubs could be a great addition. It would make sense to team up with local chefs and restaurants to ensure a rich offer of activities.

What suggestions would you have for potential sources of funding for the development of this project?

The project could be implemented in already existing structures like schools or adult education centers, but would also work as a stand alone business that finances itself by its offers and by an attached store and restaurant. This requires some investment in advance though. Ministries of Health and Education could help with funding as well as advertising the Kitchen.

Virtual team

Maia Smith, Tania Jiménez, Jill Dovale, James McBennett, Miles Masci

Evaluation results

14 evaluations so far

1. How effectively do you think that this concept reconnects food consumers and producers?

It would reconnect food consumers and producers strongly - 64.3%

It would somewhat reconnect food consumers and producers  - 28.6%

It would not significantly reconnect food consumers and producers  - 7.1%

2. How scalable is this idea across communities and geographies?

This concept can be scaled across many communities  - 57.1%

This concept will take a fair bit of work to build and scale - 28.6%

This concept is not particularly scalable  - 14.3%

3. How quickly could this concept be impactful? 

This concept could happen today - 57.1%

This concept could happen soon with some work - 42.9%

I struggle to see this happening in a reasonable timeframe - 0%

4. How original is this concept?

This concept is extremely original - 71.4%

This concept has some original aspects - 21.4%

This concept already exists - 7.1%

5. Overall, how do you feel about this concept?

This concept rocked my world – it’s brilliant - 78.6%

I liked this concept but preferred others - 21.4%

This concept didn’t get me overly excited - 0%


Join the conversation:

Photo of Congmin Liang

I think to do the public kitchen is a great idea that could allow everyone to do their own food that they want. Yes, the equipment and the training are necessary because it is food that we need to eat, and some of them might make it to sell and earn some money on it.
I also like the idea of online kitchen, because that will allow more and more people to share their own recipes and tips to the public and make it in their own kitchen to try other people's ways. Maybe their old way is not that good so that they could learn a new way to make food look better and taste better than doing their old ways. Also the online kitchen could teach people some recipes to do the food that sell in the some restaurants they might like and wanted to learn it and make it to save money and for their some special days to their friends or family.

Photo of Congmin Liang

Right now, there are a lot of people doing the online recipe like pictures or videos to teach people how to cook their own dishes and let all the people could try their own recipes at home without buying it outside from some place. For example, some people are come from Korea and they want to eat food that taste as same as the dish in their own country. But if they do not know how to cook it to have the same taste, they could just go online and tap the key words, and then wa la, the picture or the video pops up. They could see the recipe and cook at their kitchen to make the food they like. It is a great way to learn the recipe and also the way to save a lot of money on take out or go to the restaurant.

Photo of Fei Xin

I really like your point with "online kitchen, because that will allow more and more people to share their own recipes and tips to the public and make it in their own kitchen to try other people's ways. Maybe their old way is not that good so that they could learn a new way to make food look better and taste better than doing their old ways." I hope the online kitchen can be implement as soon as possible, I am looking forward to know more informations about that.

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