The Oakwood Soul Café is a pop-up community dinner that is held at the Oakwood Community Center in Troy the first Monday of every month. The dinners have been catching on with the Troy community since they were started in November 2013. While Consortium chefs Ellie Markovitch and Jillian Naveh have been involved with the monthly dinners since their inception, they are not doing all the cooking. The dinners are a community effort – community cooks and volunteers lend a hand to the set-up and clean-up, and donations and cooked specialties from event goers are incorporated into every meal.
The Oakwood Soul Café is a nonprofit venture with no set price ($3 is the suggested donation). The event happens in part due to the gracious donations that come from local farms and grocery stores. The event coordinators ask attendees to donate whatever money or time they can to help offset additional costs and to give anyone, rich or poor, the opportunity to take part in a delicious community meal.
“Salvaging food starts from how we shop, prepare and eat. We practice that with the Oakwood Soul Café community dinners. We look for donations and salvaged food that otherwise would go to the landfill,” – Ellie Markovitch, Times Union, November 2014
The next Oakwood Soul Café dinner will be held on February 2, 2015.