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The Civilized Explorer

Juke's Bistro of Love

Building Community -- Chez Juke

One of the many ways to build community at Burning Man is with food. Juke, also known as Pat, has been coming to Burning Man for six years, if we recall correctly, and has been doing a community kitchen for three years. We have participated in the community kitchen every year, and it has been a wonderful lifting of a burden of preparing meals in the heat of the day. And unlike some things at Burning Man which take a relaxed attitude about being done, Chez Juke serves on time.

Help in the kitchen. Help outside the kitchen. If you want to do a community kitchen, you need money and volunteers. At the Blue Light District, people have been around long enough to be eager participants. Volunteers are not an issue. That leaves money. How Juke comes up with his budget is a mystery to us; he is a professional chef back in the real world, so he knows what he is doing -- he announces a price for a certain number of meals, people send in money, and Juke delivers.

Look at that smile.

And look at that smile -- is this guy happy in his work?

And look at the line outside.

And look at that crowd (with a line outside).

There are many ways to build community, and a kitchen is certainly not the only means. But take a look at these pictures. We think you can see from them that a well- run community kitchen brings people together who have fun doing what could otherwise be drudgery.

One of our chefs is a doc. The cooks get an A for "work well together." Cooking takes concentration. Jen and Juke. Food flies up, then it comes back down.

Chair Juke

Chair Juke

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