By Jim Miller and Kelly Mayhew
Judy Forman is a Golden Hill institution. Her restaurant, the Big Kitchen Café, has served as a center of community life and activism for many years. Indeed, it’s hard to imagine the neighborhood without her or her place. I first went to the Big Kitchen myself in the eighties when I met with folks involved in the protest movement against Reagan Administration policies in El Salvador and Nicaragua.
More recently, Judy helped Kelly and me out by playing the role of Emma Goldman in the 100-year Anniversary of the San Diego Free Speech Fight when local labor and Occupy folks took over the intersection of 5th and E downtown. Over the years Forman has been active in LGBT politics, helped out with fundraisers for the Center on Policy Initiative’s Students for Economic Justice Internship program, started the New Play Café (a company devoted to helping playwrights develop their work), and offered up her “kitchen,” as she likes to say, to far too many people to name here.
Thus, to make a long story short, Forman has had her hand in much local activism over the past thirty some odd years and the Big Kitchen has always been one of the progressive hubs of San Diego and the heart of the neighborhood. It was our pleasure to interview her for this Golden Hill series.