When Evelyne first contacted me regarding her newly launched business concept, I was very intrigued… an online marketplace for local food experiences (sounds just up my street, right?) and then when she started to explain the basics, I knew that this was something that was not just up my street, but had me salivating for my first interactive food, fun and new friends dinner.
Bookalokal helps those who are searching for a local food experiences to pair up with locals who are willing to offer a home-cooked dinner, food tour or cooking course. (Sounds pretty rad, eh? Evelyne uses the example of being in China and wanting an authentic home-cooked chinese dinner in someones home… Where would you go? Who could you call? In this case… bookalokal!)
Co-founders Evelyne and Shane saw the gap in the market to provide local dining options with more accessibility on a transparent and global scale.
Their target audience ranges from travellers who are looking for an authentic food experience to expats wanting to meet locals and learn about the city over a meal. We all know that breaking bread at a table is the best way to forge new friendships and learn about the world around you. Hosts extend from the average joe (or me) who loves to cook and entertain to aspiring chefs wanting to showcase their skills …. all with the added bonus of earning some extra money along the way.
So off HIM and I went… to our first bookalokal (and their third official event as they have only been active for 2weeks) … obviously picking the option of a traditional home-cooked Portuguese meal (duh… with HIM being Portuguese… this was a no-brainer)… and the 3course dinner was hosted by RUI (a Portuguese guy living in Brussels after a stint in Italy, with a love of restoring old cars and cooking magnificent meals with fresh and high quality ingredients!)
We arrived somewhat early and were welcomed into his home, given our first aperitif and settled in to enjoy a fantastic evening with new friends…. in fact – between Pat & Lorenzo… I can’t remember laughing so much and finally crowning them *kings of bullsh*t* 🙂 … and am looking forward to their gift of a newspaper.. so that I can watch them in action with their new (or not so new) “project”.
For nibbles – we had chorizo, traditional cheese (Queijo da Serra – which is all soft and gooey inside and perfect for spreading on some freshly toasted artisanal bread), pasteis de bacalhau (essentially codfish empanadas’) along with crudite veggies.
the next course served was Lombo de Porco Assado – Pork Loin (Porco Iberico – piggies reared only in Portugal & Spain) oven roasted with baby potatoes, herbs, paprika, onions and a side salad… (YUM)
And finally – HIM and my favourite… Pasteis de nata (traditional Portuguese custard tarts) served with freshly sliced mango’s and traditional apples, Bravo esmolfe (these are normally only grown in Portugal – soft, fragrant and moreish) …
along with ice-cream, coffee’s and Moscatel de setubal.
All of this (along with copious amounts of wine) would set you back about 20Euros…. pretty amazing, eh?
So essentially the concept for the host is not about making $$$$, but rather about sharing a food experience, making new connections and covering your costs… while the guest receives a first class dining experience in the comfort of someones home.
Would I go again? Absolutely… in fact, I am busy researching what events are available in the upcoming month… reckon you should do the same 🙂
Tel: +32 470 680127