A book about expanding the local food movement through underground restaurants, with a how-to for non-professional chefs.
Welcome! If you are looking to pre-order the book, just click the green button to the right. You'll be able to select the book, (or any other incentive) and use your Amazon account to pay. Thank you for helping us reach our goal by Aug 6th!!!
An Underground Restaurant: Local Food, Artisan Economics, Creative Political Culture (book)
After cooking 26 dinners in 3 countries over the last 7 years, we are writing the story of our underground restaurant! It's a ten course feast, and all the ingredients are sourced from local farmers and artisan producers. The preparation is simple, to inspire our guests to cook at home. They can wander into the open kitchen to watch, ask questions, and help out.
Most of the dishes have a story, of provenance, memory, or family. The evening includes intimate rituals that remind participants that this is no ordinary dinner. Guests are greeted at the door and promptly hand-fed a bite of food by someone they have never met.
Like the events we host, the book works on several levels. It’s a beautiful experience full of luscious photos. It's about eating and even includes a few favorite recipes. It’s a considered expression of values, and a strategy for manifesting and sharing them, including a how-to chapter with precise logistics. It’s part of a movement, celebrating the creativity and bravado of other underground restaurants and projects. And the book explains how the successes of the local food and underground restaurant movements can be applied beyond the food system to transform our economies.
In the book we tell our own story in great detail. Not because we made a lot of money, got written up in The New York Times, or cooked for famous people. (We haven’t, yet.) But because underground restaurants are not really about cooking for 30 people, or charging your friends for dinner, or having strangers in your house. It's about making space for the things you care about and are worried about and finding ways to celebrate, protect, and grow the kind of world you want to live in. We figured out how to do that as we went along, which is how social movements happen.
Celebrate with us...
Maybe you enjoy good food and want to learn more about this phenomenon. Maybe you came to one of our dinners or another underground restaurant? Maybe you have thought about hosting a dinner yourself? We’ve got incentives for you either way.
If you want to learn and enjoy, we’ve created incentives to remind you about simple and delicious home cooking:
o The book! full of photos and stories about our experience, the underground restaurant phenomenon and how it can transform the economy.
o A postcard to remind you how easy it is to make Jim Lahey’s no-knead bread. Delivered right to your door! When is the last time you got a beautiful piece of mail?
o Get an 8 x 10 photograph of food that is very simple to cook. (choose from the ones below)
you want to host your own food event, we have created
tools to help you with every step. We’ve made it easy to
keep track of all the details so you can worry less and
have more fun. You have access to the logistical tools we have
developed to deliver 26 events to hundreds of people. This is the very
first time we’ve offered these tools and and we don’t know when they will be available again after the Kickstarter.
o A digital copy of the How-To chapter before the book even comes out! This chapter covers what to do the weeks running up to your event and describes our other favorite projects to spark your imagination.
o “Chef’s Kit” Get a package of fill-in forms to manage the logistics for your event. These are the tools we have developed to deliver 26 events to hundreds of people. This is the very first time we’ve offered these tools and and we don’t know when they will be available again after the Kickstarter.
o 1 on 1 coaching as you put together your first event.
o For real experiential learning, invite us to host a restaurant at your house!
manuscript is nearly complete. We are in the final phase of editing.
We've already pored over more than a thousand photos to choose the most
fabulous ones for the book. Here’s the table of contents:
1 Not a potluck: is it food? is it performance art? is it democracy?
2 inviting 200 people to dinner
(The Story of The Viand, our underground restaurant)
3 Dining with strangers
(The Underground Restaurant Movement)
4 From commodity to community
(Local Food as a successful model of economic change)
5 The feast that creates culture
(Transforming the Economy)
6 From the all-chefs to shop-cook-eat, with a 10-course dinner in-between
We have decided to self-publish because we want the book to be as luscious as the event itself. We want big text, with plenty of white space around it, and we want color photos on nearly every page. We don't want to fight with a publisher on all that, so we're doing it ourselves. This Kickstarter will keep us in ice cream until we finish the research, writing, layout, and marketing. And it will pay the set up costs for publishing.
Responses to the book
"Fantastic, smart, and beautiful...Like you I have seen first hand how food can work to politicize even the most un-predictable, but my stomach turns at the thought of potlucks. Here it all comes together: food, resistance, politics, trade, community, organizing... all the while it is proof that revolution IS beautiful."
"My knee-jerk response was – when can we start doing these? This is an inspiring resource. It also made me want to be more responsive to what’s at the farmer’s market."
How do we expand the energy of the local food movement? How do we learn to cook again, and build community? Welcome to an elegant restaurant where the guests help cook. It’s a food happening… Join us!
Thank you so much for your support.
We are grateful!
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
pledged of $3,500 goal
seconds to go
Jul 7, 2012 - Aug 6, 2012 (30 days)
Pledge $6 or more
Our gratitude. Thanks for eating local food and celebrating with us!Estimated delivery: Sep 2012
Pledge $12 or more
Photo recipe card for Jim Lahey's delicious and simple bread! You'll learn (or be reminded) to make fancy bread at home in less than 10 minutes of work and for less than a dollar a loaf! Delivered right to your door. Please add $6 for international orders.Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
Pledge $25 or more
A digital copy of the How-to chapter from the book, so you can host your own underground dinner before the book even comes out. PLUS the beautiful bread recipe card in your mailbox! Please add $6 for international orders.Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
Pledge $32 or more
A quality 8x10 print of one of our photographs. Choose from one of the three on the left. Plus the bread card and chapter! Please add $12 for international orders.Estimated delivery: Nov 2012
Pledge $48 or more
The Book! A copy of the beautiful book full of color photos, telling the story of the Viand and how we do it. Delivered right to your door as soon as the ink dries! Please add $12 for international orders.Estimated delivery: Dec 2012
Pledge $82 or more
Host's Kit! Pack of editable forms to support you hosting your own food event. Plus copy of the book, bread card, and digital copy of the How-to chapter. Please add $15 for international orders.Estimated delivery: Dec 2012
Pledge $192 or more
2 backers Limited (18 of 20 left)
One hour scheduled coaching session as you organize your own underground dinner. Plus copy of the book and Host's Kit and bread card. Please add $15 for international orders. (Coaching sessions possible before Dec 2012)Estimated delivery: Dec 2012
Pledge $362 or more
2 backers Limited (8 of 10 left)
All of the above plus all three 8x10 photographs and a gushing acknowledgment in the book.Estimated delivery: Dec 2012
Pledge $500 or more
NEW INCENTIVE! A Box of Books (to give to 12 friends)Estimated delivery: Dec 2012
Pledge $5,000 or more
0 backers Limited (3 of 3 left)
We deliver a 10 course, 20 guest Viand at your house. Chef's travel included. Plus all the above.Estimated delivery: Dec 2013