In the spring of 2007, Keith “Colonel Angus” Rinzler sat in a restaurant in Atlanta, Georgia with his friend and well-known Burning Man artist, Zach Coffin, discussing, as they were often prone to do… Burning Man.
Zach described the challenges that Burning Man artists with reasonably-sized projects face by explaining that they arrive on the playa during the week prior to Burning Man’s official start, work 18 hours a day trying to build and/or install their art piece, and most of them, especially the smaller and newer crews, have little time or energy left to think much about food. Consequently, their energy, enthusiasm, vitality, happiness and overall experience diminishes more each day as they feed themselves with whatever pre-packaged, processed junk foods they can grab, if they even eat at all, until finally, they are so exhausted and burnt out that when the festival actually begins in earnest, they are too worn out to enjoy it.
To which, Keith, in his typical straightforward entrepreneurial style said,
“Let me get this straight…
The artists of Burning Man arrive on the playa early, work their asses off, 18 hours a day or more, to produce incredible works of art that ALL Burning Man participants can enjoy, and in the process, even with all the talent and resources that are available on the playa, many of them half starve to death, or at the very least work themselves into the ground and spend a good portion of the actual Burning Man event recovering. THAT’S Bullshit! Let’s do something about it.”
To which, Zach responded, “Breathe Keith, breathe.”
Then Keith called his good friend and professional chef, Jean-Pierre “Chef JP” Weingarten, in San Rafael, CA, and described his idea for a grass-roots program during pre-event set up week, in which theme camps’ kitchens could gift meals to these artists and their crews, as they were setting up their installations, and… … …