At These Pop-Up Dinners, The Chefs (And The Guests) Are Homeless

On a recent night at a pop-up dinner in San Francisco’s Civic Center neighborhood

Darryl, our pop-up expediter, celebrating after plating our first course of cactus tostadas at a pop-up dinner. [Photo: Ash Ngu]

with a menu including seared mushroom red potato tostada and roasted broccoli with honey sriracha, some of the guests had paid $55 for a ticket for the multi-course meal. Other people, who are homeless, paid nothing. They sat together and talked, eating food prepared by people who are also homeless.

The startup nonprofit behind the dinner, Farming Hope, wants both to provide new job training for people who are trying to work their way out of homelessness–so they can later land jobs in the Bay Area food world–and to bring people together around food in a different way.