Brussels caters to all different kinds of tastes and wallets: You can have a meal for 2,70 € at your local friterie, or you can also spend a lot of money in fancy cocktail bars.
Been there, done that? Then maybe it’s time you had dinner at a stranger’s house.One thing I love about Brussels is that it’s filled with people from all over the world. This broad mix of cultures, nationalities, backgrounds makes it a great city for a concept like Bookalokal: It’s like going to a friend’s house for dinner, except that they are not (yet) your friends and you don’t bring a bottle of wine; instead, you pay a little fee.
Why would you pay an amateur-cook you don’t even know for cooking your dinner? Because it’s a fun way to meet new people (the host and the other guests) and also because in many cases you will get authenticity you won’t find in many restaurants. You might have somebody from India prepare a meal like the locals back there would, or you have the chance to experience an authentic South-African meal, although there’s no South African restaurant in Brussels (or is there?).
There are also workshops where you learn how to bake your own bread or become a bona-fide pizza chef, etc.
And then there are “themed” dinners, which is what we did: A murder mystery dinner hosted by Maxine (aka whyiamnotskinny). Apart from the food being delicious (see the mozzarella/tomato starter above and the tiramisu dessert below), we had a lot of fun solving the murder mystery (a pop star had been murdered in the dodgy part of 1960s London), all the while getting to know the other guests around the table.
What’s the catch, you ask?
If there is something I would like to see improved on Bookalokal in Brussels, it’s the variety of the offerings and the number of hosts. After browsing the site regularly for a couple of months, I got the feeling that there are a small number of very successfull hosts, who get great reviews and whose meals are often sold out. But even after scrolling through the listings again and again, I could not find more than, say, three or four dinner/workshop experiences that would really interest me.
So that’s where you come in: Give it a try, first as a guest – and, hopefully, soon after as a host as well!
Disclaimer: We do not have a cooperation with Bookalokal. They did, however, offer all the bloggers at the Brussels Food Friends Event #3 a voucher to attend a Bookalokal experience at a reduced price. We have not yet, but we will use this voucher. Bookalokal did not have any say in this blog post.