Food at LOTE4

Having just talked with the amazing Ramona Bavassano (@ramonab), who organised and cooked the food for people who could not afford restaurants last year at LOTE3, and we decided that we will offer the same this year. Here is how:

There will be a sign-up sheet for each day, people who wish to eat need to put their names down, and pick a small task to volunteer with (preparations, dishes, shopping, garbage, clean-up).

We will calculate the cost and everyone will be asked to kindly contribute.

Lauren and I talked about organising “nomadic dinners” during LOTE: setting up in or near unused buildings, and let curious local people join. It would have two great purpose: reusing unused buildings; and allowing the people of Matera who don’t hang out in the Sassi to see us in a somewhat approachable situation. This may have to remain a dream, as Ramona informs me it is cold there. And getting access to buildings is not easy. We will see.

If anyone has any suggestions, advice or reminders, please leave a note! (I was not at LOTE last year.)  If you would like to hep, please also leave a comment.

@Noemi, @Alberto, can this be a “task” to earn a ticket? (Ramona should definitely get a ticket for this in any case.)

@mariabyck, @Bezdomny - could this project be woven into your TAZ research?

@Lauren, are you still interested in doing this together? Maybe @Bembo Davies wants to join the cooking crew?

Cooking at Lote4

I’d like to help with that as soon I’m there.

(Arriving round midnight on the 22.)

Thank you

Hi Anna,

thank you for offering help! So we will get to work together. I think during the hackathon the unMonastery itself will be able to extend cooking duties to cover the few extra people, nevertheless it is always nice to have extra people for meals and cooking as well! So the big FOOD project is just during LOTE. I think it is a good idea to take Noemi’s advice to heart and cook only once a day, for dinner. I have an idea for lunch, too, though, but need to check first if it is feasible. See you soon!


Food for Lote 4

Hi Katalin!

Hope, you realized, that I will only be available for Lote. As I understood, the Hackaton is taking place before the 23. of October, and I will arrive very late on 22. Sorry about that but have to tend to my paid work, too.

But looking forward to meet you .Always like doing something substantial together with others.

See you.


Sound great…

Thank you @Katalin, wow this was fast since it’s only Thursday that we brought it up :slight_smile: I think it’s a great idea, here are my two cents…

Where will Lote4 meals take place, are you thinking of having them at unMonastery? Last year (aside from the pasta party which took us a whole afternoon to cook and involved 100 people) it took more than 2 hours to manage each cold meal collectively prepared: shopping, cooking, setting the table and dishes, eating and cleaning up for only a dozen people, as some would eat out. If this is to happen at the conference venue and cater to roughly 60-80 people, it would probably take more, which means more time out of the daily schedule for those involved. You might consider doing this once a day and in the evening when there is more time, or work in small dedicated teams working their way through the general (messy) crowd.

You know the unMon space and configuration better than I, so your call of course…

As for @ramonab, welcome on board, your ticket is coming as soon as possible. Look forward to seeing you again!


Hi Noemi, thank you for your thoughts. Yes, I agree, cooking once is enough, I am going there also to attend the conference, not to run a camp kitchen. However, food is important, and I think together with Ramona we can organise a nice way to eat together each evening during LOTE. If we learned anything from the unMonastery, is how important it is to sit down and eat together at the end of the day. I have an idea for lunch, too, though - more on that later. I think lunch should be where most people are at that part of the day, - and dinner we will see, I have not given up on the nomadic dinner idea.

See you soon,


Totally agree with you

Food is important, eating well is as well, and we’re putting this on top of our priority list. If nothing else for, it’s south Italy and food is a big part of the experience. We simply can’t miss it :slight_smile:

Full Support

Given that the kitchen has consistently been the heart of the unMonastery project - It feels absurd to me to even contemplate not making it a major aspect of the conference, at very least dinner. It’s clear from the way that we ran unMo that it’s way more efficient to put in a substantial block of time into cooking on one day so that others will do the same for you on another day.

Also it’s not just this time block, it’s the economic cost of eating out combined with the dispersal at meal time and late return of individuals to the building that disrupt the flow of the overall event. This was particularly striking to me at the FuturePerfect event I attended w/ other unMo in Stockholm, there was no real consideration for food - despite it being the engine of the conference - and a major part of this was because the organisers/curators were able to eat in the v. expensive restaurant.

Two things I wanted to flag though:

  1. We have money for food right @Noemi?

  2. Logistical consideration: It’d be good to have more foldable tables for the conference, given that most of the weighty ones will be used for sessions etc. Perhaps you could source in Matera @Natalia_Skoczylas?

What I’ve been thinking of was even making the cooking part of the program in fact. This way we could have a dedicated group who’d be involved in cooking in some time slots and what would make it interesting and attractive is the learning process. How is see it is that we invite some local ladies (or men, I know one chef from Basilicata and I will try to bring him over) to teach us healthy, delicious, simple Italian dishes. I’ve done that playing urban games here and there, and people are usually really into such things. This way we have the local involvement, loads of great interaction, and food prepared by dedicated team. And yes, it is cheaper and it keeps it egalitarian. What would you say? I am seeing Ramona today, I’ll also check what is her opinion about it.

As we have a huge kitchen here with quite a lot of equipment, it should not be so difficult.

@Ben, on Monday I am checking the facilities and so on, I will ask for some tables as well.

Info to be circulated!

We should make sure this info is available before the event, and embedded in a general idea of stewardship of the unMonastery building and LOTE4 itself. I made a task about it, who wants to do it?

further details

Great to see everyone is very enthusiastic!

Lunch is on its way to be sorted: I thought Saverio (our friend who runs a local product shop in Piccianello market) may be asked to bring us sandwiches for lunch. They are delicious, made of local products, and normally cost 1.50 euros each. Checked with Marc, he agrees it is a good idea, and will talk with Saverio. We need the exact dates when we want him to come, and the number of sandwiches. @Noemi, can you help me with that?

@Natalia Skoczylas, yes, talk to Ramona about details for cooking dinner. We need to keep it simple, both for costs and time. (My instinct is that it is condescending to ask for help with cooking and call it cultural exchange. But it may be just me. Teaching how to cook Italian food and producing dinner for 80 people are very different things.) Maybe we can have a session about local food and cooking, separately from feeding the crowd.

Is there a way to ask LOTE participants to bring a plate and utensils for themselves?

We will need to borrow balls and pots, and possibly another hotplate - the kitchen is big, but most equipment is sized to serve a dozen people.

And we need a car for each day to go and buy ingredients. We can ask Saverio to bring pasta and oil, we usually buy those from him in any case, but for fresh produce a designated 2 people team needs to go to the market.

Food for Lote 4

I see another difficulty in combining learning how to cook italian and feeding the Edgeryders and that is the vegetarian / vegan challenge. Italian dishes mostly contain a bit of meat and / or fish and normally cheese. That would make such food inedible for a number of people. My suggestion would be: Let us prepare vegan dinners so everybody can join in. Eating vegan does no harm to carnivores but having no other solution but either eating animal products or staying away from the community might put a lot of stress on the vegans among us (which I’m none of :wink: ).

tyranny of the vegans

This has been a highly contested territory in the unMonastery. I suggest we take a middle ground, going vegetarian for the cooked food. Unless of course we get a dedicated vegan kitchen crew? pinging @elf Pavlik

Trello board

Meanwhile, ideas for the menu can be jotted down here:

How to use the Trello board

@katalin, if you need some information to be readily available to Edgeryders central, it is probably a good idea to keep it on this platform. @Noemi and the rest of us are already stretched very thin, and the one saving grace is that every information important to us is stored in one place. A specialized discussion among a select group of people can of course be held anywhere (it’s up to the people discussing), but I recommend you keep any discussion that (1) needs to be open (no a priori list of participants, “the more the merrier” kind of thing) and/or (2) you want to be in the field of vision of Noemi, Natalia etc. on this platform. It is unrealistic to ask people to stay on top of too many things. The unMonastery prototype has taught us a thing or two about informational entropy. :slight_smile:

too true

I hear you, @Alberto. Will just ask people to sign up by commenting.

meanwhile @Kei had a great idea - we can invite our Materani friends for our dinners, asking to bring a meal to share, and everyone who brings a dish gets a ticket. What do you think, @Noemi, @Alberto, @Natalia? It kind of makes the whole “Matera people don’t get a ticket” problem go away. Can we send a ticket together with an invitation to come to dinner?

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Great idea!

Great idea indeed. In fact, I also like the idea to have a daily board of tasks (take out the garbage, to the dishes etc…) in paper or on a physical whiteboard. Then we can put in a FAQ “What happens if I just show up, having done no preparatory work?” “No problem! The Master of the House will have a list of small daily tasks. Ask him, and he will set you up so that you can get a ticket.”

If you have more volunteers than things to do, push LOTE4 in to luxury treatment: have them clean stuff, or bring coffee to folks doing sessions, etc.

Nomadic Dinner!

I love the idea! Perhaps we could do one at piccianello market, glean food that will be thrown out and making a meal together. As we have a good group of supporters already in Piccianello and so might be able to swing it without too much difficulty-- plus there are a lot of empty spaces there as we know.

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