and you will know it’s done when the oil stops bubbling

A Community-Developed Cookbook and Storytelling Performance

artist Mike Durkin

About the Project 

Season at every step of the way
Be careful not to overfill it
How many folds are too many folds?
Don’t forget to lick the spoon
and you will know it’s done when the oil stops bubbling

Food is community, food is power, food is legacy, food is memory, food is love, food is home, food is life. Food has the capacity of bringing folks from different backgrounds together. Food is personal history, oral history, and oral tradition. Whether it’s a recipe that has been passed down from generation to generation, or the recipe we’ve made because it makes us feel good, recipes hold special places in our lives. We think about traditions and rituals that bond us together. We think about how we have a particular way we observe and practice food-making and eating. Whether it is at a table, or in front of the refrigerator- food holds deep value to all of us. This is a project that looks at these traditions and finds unions between multiple traditions.

The recipes and accompanying installations look at important dishes to the contributors. In gathering the recipes, I put emphasis on not needing the most amazing dish, but the dish that is made amazingly. It doesn’t matter the complexity of the recipe, or the expensiveness of ingredients, but the joy it contains for the contributor and the memories and stories that accompany it. You will see recipes contributed by Kensington community members coming from various cultures and socioeconomic levels.

These installations are interactive. You can chat with the participants, spend time with them. Feel at home, or your version of home in these installations. At select stations, you will be asked to do some prompts, feel free to do these to the best of your ability.




  • Noel D. Matthews II. Photo by Steve Weinik.

  • Wanda Letícía Cantres with project director mike durkin. Photo by Steve Weinik.

  • And you will know it’s done when the oil stops bubbling in-process and promotion stills, September 12, 2022. Photo by Erin Blewett.

  • And you will know it’s done when the oil stops bubbling in-process and promotion stills, September 12, 2022. Photo by Erin Blewett.

  • Participant from Story Sharing workshop at Esperanza event. Photo by Steve Weinik.

  • Heather with her son Xavier. Photo by Steve Weinik.

  • Shane's family's pickles. Photo by Steve Weinik.

  • José Rios. Photo by Steve Weinik.

  • Shane's No-Bakes. Photo by Steve Weinik.

  • John F. Photo by Steve Weinik.

  • Shane's family cookbook. Photo by Steve Weinik.

  • Egg in the Middle with John F. Photo by Steve Weinik.

  • Still Life from José. Photo by Steve Weinik.

  • Shane Claiborne. Photo by Steve Weinik.

  • Illustration from José. Photo by Steve Weinik.

  • Trina, making her Potato Salad. Photo by Mike Durkin.

Created by Lead Artist Mike Durkin with participation from Kensington community members
In Partnership with Mural Arts Philadelphia
Performed at the Kensington Corridor Trust Community Garden, 3236-56 Kensington Ave
Sept 23rd- Oct 2nd, 2022

Facilitators and Devisors: Connor Hogan, Oliver Jorgensen, Patrick Osell, and Angela Trovato

Featuring Recipes and Stories by Christina Arroyo, Gloria Cartagena, Shane Claiborne, Wanda Letícía Cantres, John F, Oliver Jorgensen, Katrina Love, Noel D. Matthews II, Sunny Phanthavong, José Rios, and Heather Rosar

Curator and Project Manager: Paige Phillips

​Special Thanks: Nick Schwasman and Chris Bratek at Philadelphia Scenic Works, Celine McBride, and Patrick Osell and the staff at Visitation Community Center


City of Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services, Hummingbird Foundation


Esperanza Health Center, Kensington Corridor Trust, McPherson Library, The Simple Way, St Francis Inn