Daisy Harvest was part of Seth Eisen’s project Buffet Flats that merges elements of the local food and farming movements with queer culture and history to present an edible cooking show with wild cabaret acts, visual art, and keynote speakers.
Daisy Harvest, window installation, Tenderloin National Forest / Luggage Store Annex, San Francisco, CA, 2011
From Eye Zen Presents:
At Buffet Flats we are interested in healing the racial divide in the queer community. We are reviving the history of the Pansy Craze and Buffet Flats of the 1920s & 30s, two underground community gathering tactics that flourished in the early part of the 20th century.
The Pansy Craze was the name given to the movement of outrageous queer performers who entertained in speakeasies during the Prohibition Era. They performed transgressive gender identities despite laws prohibiting them. Performing in speakeasies across the country, they broke through to mainstream audiences with their outrageous mix of camp wit, androgynous poise and savior faire.
Buffet Flats was the name of the alternative food and lodging provided by black Harlemites for black travelers who were sometimes not permitted to get lodging in segregated hotels. Later these apartments evolved into renowned venues, serving up an exuberant mix of artistic risk to satisfy a variety of subversive tastes and pleasures. Diverse audiences came from all over to eat, drink, sing, dance, and participate in the creative revelry.
The Pansy Craze and the Buffet Flats happened simultaneously but were, for the most part, divided along racial lines. However, Jean Malin, grande dame of the Pansy Craze, acted forcefully to try to integrate Pansy Craze culture. Seth Eisen will invoke the spirit of Jean Malin and in his persona act as co-host to all of our Buffet Flat events. His revolving co-hosts will revive the spirit of the Buffet Flats.
In the intimate setting of San Francisco homes and small public garden plots, we re/imagine the creative possibilities when we access, grow and cook local food together. We share diverse culinary approaches, food, and wisdom, creating safe spaces for a diverse and healthy community. Cooking what we grow. Sewing what is torn and reap what we know.
AT BUFFET FLATS WE:
RAISE awareness about how to grow and access local food.
UNITE queer culture with the discourse about food and sustainability.
PROVIDE a forum for learning about local food sources and sharing diverse culinary approaches.
CONNECT communities of art, performance, cuisine, local history and eco literacy.
LINK the flourishing performance and foodie cultures and the places they intersect.
ENCOURAGE collaborations /cross-pollination between food activist and artists.