Portland’s cuisine is definitely still under development, but it’s an obviously syncretic art form. We take our talent wherever we can find it and make it our own. For this project we’ve recruited chef Alexander Oramas Diaz, who want to replicate the cooking of his ancestral Puerto Rico, and combined that with the vegan-friendly environmentally focused ethos of Portland.
And then we bought a truck to put it in. A brilliant red 27’ 1999 GMC ‘Workhorse’ step-van, to be precise. It’s currently in mid-renovation; we’ve added all-new appliances and a generator in case there’s no nearby outlet to connect to our dock-plug with. Artwork and lighting will follow shortly.
The immediate utility of this to Solarpunk Portland’s goals is in feeding and providing parnosseh (“an honorable living”) to participants in the Implementations Internship program. (I’ll attach a link to that here as soon as I learn how to do so.) There are other utilities as well:
We’ve asked a couple of event venues in close-inner SE Portland if they’d be willing to host the truck; as artistic venues their decision-making processes are rather free-form, and we’re not sure when (or if) they’ll get back to us. But we don’t require their permission to park in front of their door and sell food to their people for a couple of hours (the longest Multnomah County will allow us to stay in one place without a signed restroom-usage agreement), and we’re assembling a schedule that will give us four sites to visit in the course of an average day, opening up to six or possibly eight stops later on as the business proves itself.
In addition to feeding local artists, we also want to provide disaster relief and a school lunch program. Our starting concept for the former is to develop contacts in the wilderness fire-fighting community, and drive out to the firefighting staging areas when the fire season starts and feed and water the firefighters. For a school lunch program, our concept is simply to find the most needy districts in Portland, park outside the school, and let the teachers know that we’ll hand out nutritious meals to anybody who can’t reach the window.
And the truck will provide a steady source of funding for operations in pursuit of our root purpose: “To create a rosy, positive, optimistic scientific and technological future for all of Portland.”