Yolo Home Cooks Rally After Health Department Warning

(From Press Release) – Local home cook collective Foodnome received a warning to cease operations by the Yolo County Environmental Health Department on Wednesday, May 8th. The group has been organizing private dinners and free food events to demonstrate community support for California’s Homemade Food Operations Act (AB 626).

AB 626 created the infrastructure for county health departments to permit home kitchens for public food sales. Foodnome has gathered more than 100 cooks in the Yolo and Sacramento region who are actively seeking these permits in hopes of being able to start legal food businesses from their homes.

The health department’s warning comes as a response to Foodnome’s events–specifically a free mobile quesadilla event, where quesadillas were given out around Davis on Picnic Day to raise awareness about the potential benefits of AB 626 in Yolo County. The warning specifies that the health department will seek enforcement for future home cooked food events, and that Yolo County has “no plans to opt into permitting microenterprise home kitchen operations.”

On the same day of this warning, Riverside County adopted AB 626 and committed to issue cooks’ permits as early as June. Home cooking advocates argue that Yolo and Sacramento counties can easily follow Riverside’s lead and legitimize the businesses of hundreds of cooks throughout the region.

Community organizer and Foodnome founder Akshay Prabhu hopes that this warning can fuel a discussion about the opportunities this law offers. “Many talented cooks are not able to share their food with their community due to financial barriers. We deserve a more inclusive food system.”

Home cooks will be coming together for a rally in support of AB 626 at the Davis Farmer’s Market on Wednesday, May 22nd at 6:30pm.

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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2 Comments

  1. Todd Edelman

    “Arrest the Quesadillas!” would not be my choice for a slogan to encourage local food-based conviviality in one of the most agro-powerful parts of the known Universe, but I am a originally a city boy and may not yet grok the nuances. Nu.

    Missing from this story is just why Yolo County officials are on this path of antitastynarianism. I’m new to this and know too well that while “good” rhymes with “food”, “ate” also rhymes with “hate”, yet again OTOH “beaten” rhymes with “eaten”. Now if you’ll excuse me I am going to see if it’s true why this unusual rain is upon us… that it’s the Universe sending a friendly warning to our friends on future Food Court Street in Woodland.

  2. Sharla Cheney

    “100 cooks in the Yolo and Sacramento region”

    Without getting into all of the health risks of restaurants operating out of residential homes – They promote and take reservations on social media and charge for their home meals – $15 – $18 per – and promote that home cooks can make up to $50K per year.  No health permits, no business license, and non-taxed.  People are worried about Target affecting the downtown.  Just from an economic sense for Davis, why allow these restaurants in residential homes to compete with licensed, permitted, inspected and taxed downtown businesses?  Let’s ask the downtown restaurant owners what they think.  Let’s ask the licensed, permitted Food Truck owners what they think of quesadillas being cooked and sold from a mobile bike around Davis?

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