I EAT YOU © Diane Vincent
© Diane Vincent

I EAT YOU Pop-up Restaurant // Berlin

A restaurant is a restaurant is a restaurant – unless it’s called I EAT YOU. Launched in late April this year in the living room of a 250m² loft in Berlin Kreuzberg, I EAT YOU is a pop-up restaurant, meaning it doesn’t have a fixed location. Pop-up restaurants come and go and might reappear somewhere else. For the 12 dates in October, I EAT YOU is residing on the first floor at Chalet, a newly opened club, again in Kreuzberg.

I EAT YOU Pop-up Restaurant

© I EAT YOU

And after that? Who knows…? The moment is now, so come and enjoy, and be ready to expect the unexpected. Certain is you will be fed – after all it’s a restaurant. But one that doesn’t stop at that. The organizers Nele and Tina want to turn eating out into a happening. Culinary pleasures are embedded into live music entertainment and DJ sets, acting performances and creative arts. Interactivity is a key part of the idea. People are seated around one large communal table, and the guests’ role is not limited to consumption only: Could be for example there is no spoon for the soup. So you have to get up from your chair and take it from an installation somewhere in the room. Or everyone is served small bowls with different food. If you want to taste what others have got, you can trade your bowl for theirs. Could also happen one has to do part of the cook’s job: You get pastries and fillings, and together with your co-eaters will prepare the ravioli and cook them at the table. What counts is creating a sense of community, making people socialize in a natural way – and good food of course. For the latter, I EAT YOU invites a chef, not necessarily a professional, who takes care of the menu for up to 50 guests. The culinary program for first dinner series was in the hands of a fashion designer and an architect. In October, the kitchen will be managed by a trained chef who happens to also be a musician – exciting combination of talents.

What takes these two, PR manager Nele and Tina, a set designer, to shake up restaurant culture? Tina says they simply felt bored by traditional restaurants and quite often also put off by bad service and an annoying lack of hospitality. She lived in London for a couple of years where she worked with set designer Tony Hornecker. When the economic crisis hit the arts sector, he opened one of London’s first pop-up restaurants, The Pale Blue Door, and Tina became part of the team. Back to Germany, she found Berlin could do with a similar experience and together with Nele created the I EAT YOU concept.

I EAT YOU Pop-up Restaurant

© JULIA LUKA LILA NITZSCHKE

Everything is designed to inspire and surprise: The decoration, the food and the performances. Not even the mysterious announcement for October lets the cat out of the bag: “Come to our castle: I EAT YOU invites you to the pipe dream” it says on Facebook and the I EAT YOU blogsite, and then: “Passing by a loose bird at the entry, picking his feathers, you will explore the singing soup installation, see our silver-tongued chef and plenty more surprises on the way to the watercolour kitchen dream”. Sounds like a dinner fairy tale to me, and if one of my dear readers beams himself/ herself into it, please share your experience with me!

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