Kokotte pop-up restaurant welcomes its first occupant!
On 6 November, at the heart of the Quartier de l’Ilot Sacré, the inauguration of the first Brussels hotel and catering incubator took place. Kokotte is the opportunity given by hub.brussels to budding chefs to test their culinary concept for 4 months at a reduced price, in a fully equipped space. And since Thursday 7 November, the smell of chocolate has been wafting through the doors…
Because opening a restaurant is a wonderful venture which proves perilous, hub.brussels decided to set up Kokotte, the first food incubator dedicated to restaurateur-entrepreneurs.
Located in Rue des Bouchers, at the heart of Brussels, Kokotte allows cordon bleu chefs to test their concept over 4 months before launching their own restaurant.
This is the chance for 9 budding chefs to bend over backwards and offer the palates of Brussels new concepts and new pairings until 2022.
“We are convinced that low-risk experimenting coupled with the tailor-made support of business candidates can reduce the risk of error or even failure, and reinforce original business concepts”, explains Isabelle Grippa, Chief Executive Officer of hub.brussels.
A modular space, with sustainable fittings
On the ground, the challenge for such an incubator is to offer a space that each candidate can customise and appropriate to make their own restaurant space. On the wall, the panels can be customised, the furniture is modular, the bench changes into a high table, a bookcase….
For Thibaut Surin, project architect with hub.brussels, “the difficulty in dressing this space was to do the opposite of what the business candidates are advised do, that is fill the place with their personality. So that each person could project themselves into the space, we needed a blank square on a blank background. So we worked with non-colours, between black and white and natural materials that still have a soul. ”
Out of respect for the environment, all the materials used in the interior fittings as well as the furniture are recycled, eco-designed or hired. Coming from the circular economy, they essentially come from the reuse sectors:
- Soil (debris) from Brussels construction sitesused as a wall coating,
- Plastic waste transformed into decorative panels to finish the bar,
- Mussel shellstransformed into tablets and shelves,
- The restoration and enhancing of the original granito.
The space has been designed with the help of specialists from the sector and is meant to last, to adapt to each project. Two prestigious partners participated in fitting out the restaurant: Diamond and Vitra Circle.
And the first Kokotte participant is…
The food incubator provides us a dream opportunity to test the viability of our project under real conditions. The stay at Kokotte promises to be exciting and undoubtedly full of learning opportunities!
CHOCOLERO’S, a delectable social project
Pierrick Stinglhamber is Kokotte’s first participant. With CHOCOLERO’s, the aspiring restaurateur offers tourists and locals a selection of home-made desserts based on fair trade cacao, to be enjoyed with artisanal drinks.
The aspiring restaurateur brilliantly navigated the selection stages by submitting a persuasive application file and sailing through the cooking test organised in partnership with Horeca Be Pro.
More than just a culinary project, CHOCOLERO’s also has a social vocation, conceived as a bridge between Belgium, the home of chocolate, and Latin America, the birthplace of cacao. What about dropping in to have a look around? See you at Kokotte!