Thursday, September 6, 2012

Spaghetti Burn

We started serving spaghetti in 2009. Our inspiration was an old theme camp long gone called Spaghetti Western, they showed movies and served spaghetti. We wanted to create a improv stage experience and serve spaghetti at night. We picked the name Twilight spaghetti theater. We modeled our kitchen and behavior based on a camp called pan cake play house which, was at the time, considered the gold standard for camp kitchens on the playa.

    When we went to pick up our food permit from the health inspector we told him we were cooking spaghetti and sauce. We asked when he would come by for inspection. He laughed and said that he wasn't worried about us and handed us our food permit and a bag of condoms. No joke. That was our experience dealing with the health inspectors for the next three years.

   We were excited that they finally came to visit us and even more excited that they brought a journalist/virgin burner Jim Carlton who put us on the front page of the wall street journal! Thought we have some questions about his fact checking and journalistic integrity. For example, we are pretty sure the man burns on saturday and the event ends on sunday. Messing up basic details like that kind of thing would put his reputation under question in the real world but given that he was at burning man we will let him get off with just a warning. We also have questions about his bizzaro alter ego, the amateur survivalist bank robing bug man. Some people are strange but I guess it takes all types.

  We have also been featured in the black rock gazette, the huffington post, as well as many other publications. I guess the veteran burners journalist for those publications were able to read the What Where When. I say this because actually showed up for diner, and gave us rave reviews! Thanks Guys!

   Over the course of 4 years our camp has served nearly 4000 servings of spaghetti to the burning man community. We don't operate our kitchen every night. Most nights that we do operate start with a thorough cleaning of the kitchen. We have a dish washing station, A hand washing station. All servers wear aprons and gloves. We use ph strips to test that our wash water is sufficiently bleached and clean. We change out the wash water after ever wash session. The spaghetti we serve was just boiled moments before. Health is at the four front of our operation and we are proud that over the course of these years. Many guests come back year after year. We have received many many "thank you's" from our guests and it is that love that gives us the strength to do it again and again.

 We operate at night. We noticed that people tend to forget about fueling their bodies regularly in the evenings. Sometimes a hot meal on a cold evening can gives them enough fuel to keep on dancing, exploring, and participating. It is a gift that we have been delighted to bring to the community for years.  

  We made spaghetti on tuesday and thursday this year and listed the event in the what where when. There was a huge demand on tuesday night and a line formed starting before we were ready. It was inspiring. We went late into the night. Serving spaghetti and preforming and entertaining the crowd. It was awesome! It was exciting! It was exhausting. That is why we planned to take wednesday off. To give us a day to recover. It is challenging to run a kitchen in the conditions of burning man. You have to bring everything you need including the kitchen sink! Nothing is easy. Nothing is free. Most of all nothing happens by it self. We can be pretty exhausted the next day. But hey, We are professionals at being awesome in the playa not just amateur hacks. It's about pacing yourself.

 One of our proudest feats our camp was involved was participating in the Feed The Artists program in 2009 and in 2010. We have served scores of artists before the event opens. In 2010 Larry Harvey came by to personally thank our camp for its support to the artist. Wow that blew us away because we were doing just because we loved doing it!

 Thank you all and see you back in the dust next year! Did we mention we are hecklers too?

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