Not a Fucking Kitchen

Not a Fucking Kitchen is a travelling kitchen that began in 2010. With a rotating cast of characters as crew, Not A Dave is the kitchen ogre. The crew mainly consists of folks many would call “dirty kids” and has included people who also plug in at Nic@Nite, Projex, GOAT Camp, and Front Gate. The crew changes frequently because the Not A Fucking Kitchen vehicles tend to be willing to pick up any travelling kids along the way that need a ride, no matter where they are or how full the vehicle.

The kitchen was born at the 2010 Shawnee regional gathering, but the seed began in June of 2010, when Not A Dave took a beat up ‘99 Honda, picked up five travelling rainbows in the Alleghany area of PA, and took them to the 2010 Annual Rainbow Gathering in the Alleghany forest. By the end of the gathering, their camp had lost one member and picked up two more, and the Honda rolled out as a team of seven to the Eastern Washington regional gathering in August of 2010. At that gathering, three rainbows got off the ride, and four more got on. They headed off to Illinois for the Shawnee Gathering in October, dropping one more passenger off along the way.

The crew was the very first vehicle on site. Setting up a camp in the parking lot, they started cooking and feeding people. When asked if they were a kitchen, the response was “We’re not a fucking kitchen, but we’ll feed you until one gets here.” After a few days, other camps had lent or donated their cooking gear and food, the crew were serving hundreds, and no kitchens had set up yet. When other kitchens finally arrived, the crew of “not a fucking kitchen” had planned on donating the gifted kitchen gear to the crew that was working the Front Gate. However, several people appealed to the crew, asking if they would continue serving food if their equipment was moved into the woods and set up. Not A Dave and the kids said okay, and so about thirty dirty kids hauled the kitchen into the woods and set it up, and helped run it as well.

The kitchen specialized in dirty kid recipes- chili dogs, cheeseburgers, deep-fried zuzus wrapped in bacon, fatty sugary and greasy goodness. One night they emptied out the entire supply tent to cook a feast for everyone. Finally there were no supplies left but some sugar and cooking oil and things of that nature. About that time, a pizza delivery worker arrived at the kitchen with a hundred pound donation of pizza dough. The kitchen was back in action – they made donuts with the sugar and oil, and when more food appeared they wrapped everything in pizza dough and fried it.

On the last day of the Shawnee Gathering, a group of kitchen workers had a powwow and wanted to keep the kitchen going, so they convinced Not A Dave to promise to buy a bus and take it on the road. After asking around, Dave found a long-time rainbow in Illinois with just the bus he needed – it had already been on the rainbow trail before and used to carry tipis into the gatherings in the ‘80s. The asking price was $1500, but after getting better to know the crew of Not A Fucking Kitchen and their vision of feeding the homeless nonstop around the country, the asking price was generously reduced to $500. After the crew got rid of the Honda and manifested the rest of the money, the man with the bus decided to simply donate it for free after all. The bus, named Not A Fucking Bus, which some said was short for “Not A Fucking Bus (It’s A Fucking Spaceship)”, and its crew headed towards New Orleans by the end of October.

In New Orleans, the bus served food daily on the streets during a Halloween celebration called Voodoo Fest. Because of the influx of craziness and strange people, it tended to be difficult for travellers to be able to get out of New Orleans after this celebration – all the gas stations were unfriendly to juggers, all the cops were wary of spangers, and there were too many kids trying to find the same few rides out of town. As a result, the Not a Fucking Bus ended up picking up a huge number of youth trying to leave. By the time it left, the bus contained 47 kids, 20 dogs, 3 cats and a ferret.

On the way out of Louisiana, the bus had a transmission breakdown and managed to roll into a Target parking lot in Lake Charles, LA, before completely dying, on November 11, 2010. In a strange turn of events, the manager of the Target gave the crew his – and Corporate’s – permission to stay there until the bus could be fixed. The bus family -which had now dwindled to 33, and added 8 new puppies – immediately set up a campsite and full-fledged kitchen in the parking lot, and thus began one of the most unusual six-day gatherings ever seen in the rainbow tribes. Word got around town that a free food kitchen bus had broken down, and suddenly kind people and food and supply donations started rolling in. By the second day, the Target manager’s mother was bringing the kitchen fresh hot donuts each morning, another local couple was bringing them handmade lunch each day, and local charities and families were going into the Target and Walmart and coming out with things for the bus and kitchen – the kitchen fed each other and the community nonstop with the food coming in. On November 12, the local news also covered the story, leading to an even more massive outpouring of generosity from the city of Lake Charles, and a viral interest in the bus family on facebook. Some of the news generated can be viewed here, here, and here.

By the sixth day, a stranger came up to the bus, had a look under the hood, and told Not A Dave, “You don’t need a new tranny. You need a new bus!” He drove some of the kitchen crew to his nearby property, waved his hand at a whole row of school busses in a field, and said to pick any one they liked. With a new bus, 4700 pairs of fresh socks, and dog food lining the floor three bags deep from the driver’s side to the back door, along with cases and cases of food and drink donations, the crew was ready to head out – but first, the Mayor of Lake Charles came by and presented the kitchen with an official commendation from the city for outstanding work with the homeless, and the key to the city. Triumphant, the crew headed toward Texas.

In November 2010, the new bus, Not Another Fucking Bus, used its donated food and supplies to help feed at a small regional gathering in Texas, and then went to Austin, TX and fed on thanksgiving at the Church Under the Bridge Thanksgiving Feed.

At the end of November, the bus and crew headed to Hippie Hill, in Tennessee, where the crew agreed to part ways. The bus was given to the family at Hippie Hill, and soon passed hands to the Shut Up and Eat It kitchen, which took the bus to regional gatherings until its eventual demise at the end of summer 2012.

In May, 2011, a Southern Michigan Gathering resulted in a revival of the kitchen with a skeleton crew and no vehicle, and the crew reunited at the Annual Gathering in Washington and served at its first and only Annual Gathering to date as Not a Fucking Kitchen. Since the kitchen maintained that it was Not a Fucking Kitchen, it refused to take food from Main Supply, and refrained from serving Main Circle, preferring to simply cook on its own and feed whoever was hungry in the vicinity. At the end of this gathering, the kitchen took a leave of absence for over a year.

In September of 2012, Not a Dave procured a new travel vehicle, an RV. He took it to Morrison Colorado for the Furthur shows at Red Rocks and he and his girlfriend Cindy and his dog Not A Dog began amassing a new crew. The RV slowly made its way to California where it plugged into the Black Sheep Solstice Gathering. Dave and his crew then took the RV to San Francisco to the Furthur New Years Eve shows. From the start of January onward, Dave and his crew plugged into the scouting and early focalizing movies for the All-California Spring Regional Rainbow Gathering 2013. At a Groundhog’s Day council in Mendocino, the RV crew met Travis Trip for the first time and helped him and his friends learn how to manage a kitchen. After that weekend’s council came to a consensus to gather in California in May, the RV headed out to Colorado again, to rendezvous with more family at the winter Furthur shows. From Colorado, the RV headed towards Oregon to borrow water pipes from the Northwest Tribes. With nearly no brakes left, the fully loaded RV returned south with water pipes sticking out of its rear end and landed at the Scout Rendezvous/Holding Camp near Fresno.

After unloading the water pipes and strapping them onto the bus of some local family in Fresno, the RV did a town run in which its brakes finally gave out. The bus zoomed down the mountain road in freefall mode, and finally went off a cliff. 40 feet down, the RV landed on a road and drove up the side of a steep hill to come to a rest. After putting brake fluid and gas into the RV, Dave and the several shaken passengers were able to limp it back into the woods. After this incident, the RV was dubbed “The Flying Dutch Oven”.

The RV was repaired, and when it returned to the woods for the regional gathering the crew set up Not a Fucking Kitchen in all its previous glory. By the end of the gathering, the crew had begun setting up the meals buffet style so hungry hippies would go down the line to eat – the kitchen was renamed “Not a Fucking Drive-Thru”. Travis Trip was also at this gathering, and he and his friends set up kitchen they called NEU (New Earth Union). On May 3rd, at NEU Kitchen, Not-a-Dave and Cindy were married. The ceremony was officiated by the Constable of Cascadia, Patrick Pinkerton, and the couple were surrounded by a small semicircle of their closest family and friends, and then a larger circle of everybody else. In an act of spontaneous enthusiasm, after the vows the crowd christened Cindy: “Not a Cindy”.

At the end of the California gathering, Not a Fucking Kitchen combined gear and crew with NEU and the whole group caravaned to the annual gathering in Montana, where the combined crews formed the new kitchen Mudd N’ Butts, which served food from the first day of seed camp through July 6th.

After the Montana Gathering, the Flying Dutch Oven had one more mishap which sent it off another cliff. It is currently out of commission but there are eventual plans to rebuild it.

September 14th, 2016 by John Anderson