By: Isabella Jaye
San Franciscans are lucky enough to live in a city famous for fine dining and innovative cuisine. Iso Rabins, founder of ForageSF, is trying to take that reputation one step further by creating a space where everyone from aspiring professional chefs to home cooks can come together and try out new ideas in a building that houses beer brewing equipment, a meat curing room, a rooftop garden and office space.
Rabins used popular crowdfunding site Kickstarter to finance the initial cost of Forage Kitchen and on June 29th, his venture exceeded its $150,000 goal. Rabins is also hoping that Forage Kitchen will be more than just a kitchen or an office space to its users. “I really like the idea of the people who are going to be using the space, being a part of its creation,” he said. “It is a space for the city to be able to kind of have a hub for food.”
Forage Kitchen — and other ventures like it — aim to help eliminate the bureaucratic and financial roadblocks that impede many would-be food professionals and promote organic, innovative cuisine in the community. By encouraging entrepreneurship and allowing those who have a passion for food but lack the means to navigate the difficulties of starting a restaurant to get involved in the culinary scene, we allow for a diversification of ideas and, hopefully, help San Francisco maintain its reputation as a hub for innovative cuisine.
Forage Kitchen also provides unique opportunities for home cooks. While $99 a month isn’t necessarily cheap for the use of their kitchen, discounted classes, and invites to parties, it’s much less than what it would cost to buy all the culinary equipment to say, can 100 jars of preserves in a single day.
That’s just one of the reasons why the idea of Forage Kitchen is so exciting. Locally sourced food and the means to prepare it shouldn’t be so expensive that it becomes inaccessible for the average San Franciscan. With obesity rates increasing at an alarming rate, many San Franciscans are forced to rely on food stamps, and with school lunches often unappetizing, why not give people the tools to enjoy cooking in a community-orientated setting?
Reset looks forward to seeing what kind of creativity comes out of Forage Kitchen when it officially opens its doors to entrepreneurs and home chefs alike. If you know of any local food innovators we should feature on Reset San Francisco – please send us an email at [email protected]!