In a place like Brooklyn, you can't get away with putting the word "commune" in your restaurant's name without having the goods to back it up.
Eugenie Woo knew that when she opened last year, and now the eatery, which manages to serve up an astonishingly varied menu for running solely on an electric kitchen, is hosting a number of events intended to not only incorporate, but better, the community.
"The whole idea of this place is to bring people together around food, and it’s not just within families or within neighbors, but also to help others," Woo said.
To that end, the restaurant is well on its way to success. Last month it hosted its first kid's cooking class, in which young culinary aspirants whipped up roasted chicken dinners for the residents of CAMBA's Park Slope Women's Shelter.
But handing off home-cooked meals is only the first step toward a larger goal. Woo and her staff also plan to help the women—many of whom are mentally ill or have a history of substance abuse—start their own organic vegetable and herb garden, offering them therapeutic relief outside of the more traditional medicinal avenues.
To raise money for the garden's creation, Woo is again employing the help of neighborhood families. On Saturday, Brooklyn Commune will be the site of a homemade dessert competition, in which contestants can submit an entry for $10. A panel of guest judges will include clients of the shelter, representatives from Councilman Brad Lander's office and possibly even Borough President Marty Markowitz.
If you're the type who prefers only the eating aspect of baking, then consider stepping up to the challenge of Sunday's strawberry shortcake eating contest, which costs $5 to enter.
If all goes as planned, Woo said, the garden will be in place by mid-to-late May. This week the restaurant will also have on hand coloring sheets for kids who want to decorate signs for the seedlings, which are available to sponsor.
Click here for more information on how to enter the weekend's events, and for more information on Brooklyn Commune's fundraising efforts generally.