It seems like opinions are divided in the Burner community about Plug-n-play camps, as I write this the polling is about 45% against, so overall the majority find it acceptable, but there are some haters who are passionately against the idea.
So where do you draw the line? If it’s “bad” to get to Burning Man and find your RV already there, stocked up and ready to party…what about getting to Burning Man and having all your meals ready to eat? Is it OK if someone cooks meals for you off the Playa and you bring them with you, but not if your own private chef cooks for you in your camp? Or are both “against Burner principles”?
Personally, I like the principle “radical inclusion”. In my world, it’s OK to bring pre-packaged food, it’s OK to bring a chef, it’s OK to do whatever the fuck you want. IT’S A FUCKING PARTY! Just let me do my thing and I will do my best to appreciate you doing yours. Everyone should be there to have a good time, not to enforce fundamentalist ideals.
“People go to amazing lengths to build structures and create incredible art in the desert,” said Mirit Cohen, who will be making her sixth trek to the desert for this year’s event, which runs from Aug. 29 to Sept. 5. “We wanted to push the boundaries of what can be served and eaten.”
To do that, she and Nate Keller, both former chefs at Google’s Mountain View headquarters and owners of the catering company Gastronaut, have created an epicurean equivalent to the military’s MREs, or Meals Ready to Eat.
Called Playa Provisions, these plastic packets contain pork posole, smoked tofu and red quinoa, chicken adobo, potato cauliflower curry, sausage gumbo, heirloom tomato chili, roasted fruit and pickled veggies.
Cohen’s own experiments navigating the harsh weather conditions and cooking challenges (such as limited or no refrigeration and standing over a fire during dust storms) sparked her desire to come up with better culinary options.
… Recognizing the importance of cooking a one-pot meal in a communal setting, Keller created boil-in-a-bag dishes to serve five. Using local, organic and sustainable ingredients, the final menu ranges from breakfast and trail mix to heartier entrees like sweet potato chipotle cakes and beef bourguignon.
…Prices range from $8-$10 per serving for entrees, $4-6 for breakfast and snacks and $7.50 per pound for raw artisanal bacon. The meals can be ordered online at gastronautsf.com. There are no deliveries, so orders need to be picked up at Gastronaut’s Bayview headquarters at 5919 Third St.