South Africa: On the Edge of a Pop-Up Eat Out Revolution


What's popping up like a batch of just-right toast is a succession of popular chefs with adventurous streaks, some confirmed nomads, some instant converts, all with refreshed focus.

For Jozi eaters-out, the pop-up chefs trend is also just-right. It's turned into an instant hit, bringing our favourite chefs back into our lives, albeit for short runs.

Part of the allure seems to be that these events are one-offs and exclusive. They're booked out well in advance, despite being fairly pricey.

"Joburg just loves events. Like expos! I've never seen so many expos for so many funny things in a city." That's what Eloise Windebank says. She and Chef Alex Windebank had Farro, the much missed restaurant in Illovo, until lockdown started.

You get the poppers-up, the chefs and the poppees-up, the venues, not always restaurants by any means. One was an empty corner shop.

One of the current poppees-up is The Peech Hotel's restaurant, Basalt. It's where the Windebanks have done two weekly stints, all dinners and lunches sold out pretty much when word got out.

I laughed at Eloise's remarks about doing the Farro pop-up series at luxurious The Peech on her instagram posts: "Upholstered chairs! Working lightbulbs! An...

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