Pop-Up Kitchen Counters Mainstream Narratives about Food in Detroit

Next City
Wednesday, Jul 18, 2018
(Photo by Valaurian Waller)

ver the past few years, Detroit community organizer Ora Wise has seen national media outlets hash and re-hash a certain narrative about the city’s developing restaurant scene, highlighting white chefs who grew up outside the city or elsewhere, who were drawn to Motown because of its reputation as a so-called blank canvas.

“It’s such a settler, colonist story, you know,” says Wise, sitting at Detroit’s Trinosophes café, not long before it closed for a remodel this summer. “It’s like, ‘look, we just have this empty land, with no people that we can then build our settlement on.’ ”