Salon Culinaire Clandestin: A confidential place for food and debate

[DISCLAIMER: even if i’m not that active as an user as i want, i always go to edgeryders whena new idea is emerging in my head. I find it a pleasant and welcoming place to let my ideas set, so i hope you don’t mind i do it once again]

Some of you maybe remember that i own Fermenthings, a fermentation centered space for which i wrote a little call a couple of months ago already. Now that the place is settled, that we are organizing weekly workshops, brunches & have a selection of 100 products in the shop, i’m looking for 2020 into the empty space we still have on the mezzanine above the shared space with La Source brewpub.

While the current project is a more straightforward business, i want this upper space to go back to part of my roots a societal and cultural event organizer but anchor it in a food environment. So what’s the idea? Well i got inspired after reading a couple of books about forgotten writers of the enlightenment period, more specific the story of the Paris salons by Holbach & Diderot where the birth of the encyclopedia was given and people like Hume or Adam Smith where frequent guests.

"Le discutoire"- "Speakplenty"

While the salons from the 18th century where still a bourgeois get together payed by the baron or other wealthy Samaritans, the space had an openness of thinking never seen before. It’s the latter part i’m interested in and find a contemporary twist to it. That is why i want to combine two ideas: the elegance of discussion of the salon and the wittiness of the speak-easy, clandestine bars in time of the prohibition. And so the “Discutoire” is born.

I will accommodate around 20 seats, giving it a feel of a grandmothers salon, making it cozy and warm. It will have a library settled on food & Urbanisme in the first place. And a small bar where guest cooks, barista, mixologues will be able to share their passion. It will not be promoted on social media, just have a ear to mouth promotion. You will need to pass the Kombucha brewer and look if the light is on.

The space should be a space for when you want to have a discussion, try new things, study & share. Where we can think about how food needs to reflect our societal transition & how we can better the living conditions of our city.

Timing: Mid 2020

I still have around six months to make it a working space. But i wanted to share it here first, because i would love to have Edgeryders (as in people from the community) seeing it as a space where they can discuss, have debates and eat good food and drink good products. A little place of rest outside of the classical spots. How the earning model behind will function? Not yet a clue, but that’s where i have 6 months time for :slight_smile:

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Interesting idea. Reminds me of @nadia’s various Secret Supper Club formats.

But I wonder: why the secrecy? It has an aftertaste of artificial scarcity to me. Are you worried people will overflow it?

Hey Alberto, yeah I didn’t went more into detail why the ‘club’ part is important.
It’s not solely for a better oversight of the people partaking in it, but it’s also for bypassing strict and absurd regulations (in my opinion) by afscaa and others.

Inside a club is a private invironment where you can cook as you want, experiment with alcohol without needing to have all the permits. To be able to call it an experimental space without needing to go through all regulation.

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Excellent reason.

Looks promising and very interesting.

Been a while since I, as well, was around. But not the first time since I say to myself that we should get in touch @yannick :slight_smile:

As I move from my cheese job to a formative career in the same domain (cheese, milk transformations, history, anthropology…), I could be interested by what your building here…

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Hey Grégoire, yes that would be the kind of perfect fit in our space. I work with a well reputed cheese maker for my different catering events. ,but lacking the time to create workshops around the specific subject.

I see you at located in Paris. I will be around in the beginning of februari. Maybe we could grab a drink.

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We should !
I think you already have my contacts in DM.

Salut et Bonne Année Yannick :slight_smile:

I think what you propose it makes sense. A few things come to mind:

  • Which language communities does it cater to?
  • How to get a nice mix of people?
  • Who is doing the convening/invitations?

I ask this as someone who’s social life in Brussels is outside the Euro-bubble by choice.

So far my exposure to Flemish social scenes in Brussels has been pretty much non-existent.

Which is a pity as it feels like there is a lot to discover.

So for me a multicultural (read Flemish + Wallon + Expat) conversational space would make a huge difference.

When we organised the Scifi Econ Lab in Brussels I was again reminded of the need for this. It is something we will have to figure out moving forward as it is my intention to make Belgium the home base for our operations moving forward. Happy to meet and exchange ideas if you like.

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Hi @yannick. I live in the neighbourhood and I would love to see such an initiative at Be-Here/Fermenthings… <3
Thanks for sharing your idea here!

@nadia knows it has been a sort of dream of mine for a while to create interesting events for interesting people, tapping into the ideas and innovations that happen outside of the “bubble”. Multicultural/multilingual would be fantastic.

Happy to be of help, to think together about the concept, to cook, anything! :wink:

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  1. i don’t want to cater to one specific language community. Involved in the city, interested or professional in food or just somebody with a great talent for discussion will be my biggest apeal. I know this may go towards mostly highly educated people, but what i found interesting in food related business there is a bigger versatility on education level
  2. Difficult question that i don’t know how to answer yet. I also don’t know what could involves a ‘nice mix’. Is it a social, a cultural or even an economical mix. Is it age related. The only one i’m quite sure will be mixed is the gender variable.
  3. In first stance i will moderate the invitation while the idea is continuously forming in my head, i think. But once there is a certain collective social controle i would love to see where to it evolves by giving more people the possibility to moderate.

And yes we can grab a drink for further discussion, always up for a coffee at my usual spot Yuka in the city center, (until i get a good espresso machine in the clandestine space :wink:

Hey Letzi,

Nice to meet you. I will be first putting the work into having the restauration part up and running in the next couple of months, but yes this idea should start taking form around mid 2020 on the first floor of our space, right in between the kombucha producer and the brewery stock.

A space for 20-30 people seated max. Feel free to pass by at our space :slight_smile:

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