See our Best of Detroit 2020 winners.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Eating So Others Can Eat

Posted By on Sat, Nov 9, 2013 at 12:47 PM

Every second and fourth Sunday Jim Rehberg feeds scores of folks he calls Friends and Forgotten Workers, in Cass Park. The self-taught chef, a UAW member, got his start during the newspaper strike in 1995, when the Wobbly Kitchen cooked for “ox roasts” to raise money for the embattled drivers and journalists. It was simple food—spaghetti, beef, iceberg salads—to fill the stomach and a need.

When the strike was over the Kitchen kept going, and has provided food for scores of movement events. “We cook for causes that use food to get people together,” Rehberg says. “Food works more often than not.”

But at those various labor and social causes, he sees the same folks over and over. The Forgotten Workers and those who bring food on those Sundays are a different set.

At a recent celebration of Joe Hill's birthday, Rehberg's menu included hummus, black bean hummus, a twist on Waldorf salad, tabbouli made with quinoa, mjadra made with bulgur and long-roasted onions, and a vegetarian pasta sauce entirely of roasted vegetables, in addition to the chicken-and-rice main dish that's a staple of Cass Park Sundays. It was all top-notch, at a level of sophistication undreamed of at those ox roasts of 18 years ago. I am not saying this to be nice. To hear Rehberg talk about how he chooses his spices is to know you're in the presence of a homegrown master. Cooking for a crowd requires a whole different set of knowledges.

Though many others contribute, Rehberg's been footing a lot of the bill for Cass Park Sundays out of his own pocket. Supporters decided it was time to step up. This Thursday, November 14, there'll be a fundraiser at the Gaelic League, 6:30-10:30 pm, with Rehberg in the chef slot. He promises vegan and meat pastas.

Plus music from Cello Bella, Steve Deasy, Black Hat and Bruce Liles, and an auction. All for $15.

Find the Wobbly Kitchen on Facebook or email The Gaelic League is at 2068 Michigan Ave., a couple blocks east of Trumbull.


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 28, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit