Cab Yard Kitchen
A lot of Kitchen Sisters stories are born
in taxicabs. Hidden Kitchens was conceived in the
back of a Yellow. Davia lives in San Francisco and hates
to drive. She started noticing that every time she got into
a Yellow cab, the driver was from Brazil, and not just from
Brazil, but from the same town in Brazil: Goiâna. Inevitably,
these cab-ride conversations turned to music and food. That’s
when the story of Janete emerged, a woman from their same
hometown, who comes every day after dark to the abandoned
industrial street outside the cab company and sets up a makeshift,
rolling night kitchen—hot salgadinhos, bollinhos, pão
de quejo—she cooks the food of home. By dawn Janete
and her blue tent are packed up and gone.
Certain stories have Kitchen Sisters written all over them.
This sounded like one of them. One night around midnight,
we decided to go in search of this secret cab-yard kitchen.
A driver had given us a sketchy map and told us to park in
the cab lot and walk to Janete’s outpost from there. “Just
look like you know where you’re going,” he said,
assuring us no one would notice we didn’t work for
the company. It seemed pretty obvious to us—neither
of us is from Goiâna, and no other cabbies in sight
were wearing headphones and packing 10 pounds of recording
equipment. We walked through the fleet of parked cabs, past
the graveyard-shift mechanic working on a taxi up on the
racks, past the checkout point, and out onto a street in
the middle of nowhere.
There, under a streetlight and a small blue tarp, four drivers
were laughing, huddled over big plates of food, eating in Portuguese.
Brazilian music spilled out of a parked cab. Janete, shy and
smiling, presided—a hidden kitchen vision.
Excerpt : No Grandmothers >