Posts Tagged ‘back to work’

An Unusual Kitchen in New York – Open 24/7 with No Front End

January 11, 2011

They say that necessity is the mother of all invention and that certainly seems to be the case with a new kitchen in New York City. No, this isn’t some kind of an unusual restaurant – in fact nothing is served where the kitchen is located. Nor is it some kind of experimental lab for a food company.

Long Island Restaurant Work as a Cooperative for Unemployed Chefs

Instead, this kitchen, located in Long Island City, Queens, is in use 24/7 by a rotation of chefs who rent the space out and use it to create various foods and pastries, which they then sell at farmers’ markets and on the street in a very unique New York experiment.

The kitchen is funded by a variety of grants that help New Yorkers who are out of work to find a new way to spend their time – making food and hopefully making a living as well. The kitchen turns out a startling array of foods representing the diversity of New York cuisine, from Indian candies to whoopee pies to falafel.

There are several chefs who share the space, pool their orders together and use the kitchen not only to create food for sale, but also as a way to deal with having been laid off.

Unemployed Professionals Try Their Hand at Culinary Delights

What is particularly interesting about this kitchen is that none of the current residents was ever a professional chef.

Marissa Angebranndt, who makes the whoopee pies in the kitchen used to be a hedge fund manager but lost her job when Wall Street went south.

 Shefalee Patel, the Indian candymaker used to work in Dubai, helping to build the artificial islands off the coast of that tiny Middle Eastern nation.

Finally, Miguel Urrego, who creates the falafel at the kitchen has worked as a bartender’s assistant and waiter in New York (to be fair, he did work at one point as a cook as well, though we imagine not the on the scale he works at now).

All in all, it’s an experiment which seems to be paying dividends for the city, supporting a number of small businesses and making for a more interesting gastronomical experience in New York.