Name: The pop-up phenomenon
Launched: Er, circa 2004, according to Trendwatching.
What is it?
Just as Heraclitus mused over life's ever-changing nature by attempting to cross the same river more than once, pop-up establishments are making a nod to the very nature of transcience, cropping up, peddling their limited edition wares and disappearing, sometimes within a matter of days.
Ah! So their proprietors are looking to create a sort of artificial scarcity; challenging consumers more used to a world of plenty, in effect doing away with a society which commoditises time itself and confronting the 'I want it now' attitude head-on?
Er, yes. Everyone's doing it: even Stelios got in on it with his easyJet Beach Club back in 2004.
So what about it?
Well, it seems the recession has created a bit of a niche for enterprising chefs keen on capitalising on the pop-up phenomenon: in London alone, dozens of would-be restauranteurs are opening their homes to miniature groups of paying customers. From chefs more used to working in a Michelin-starred kitchen to cooks whose only previous experience is of doing dinner parties for their friends; it seems everyone's at it.
Isn't it a bit, um, illegal?
Technically, no: as long as no alcohol is sold on the premises, everything is perfectly above-board.
Well, if you're going to run a business out of your kitchen, you should probably have the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) come and check it out first: there are certain rules you need to comply with. For instance, there should be more than one door between the food preparation area and the toilet; and you need to have a seperate sink for washing hands. You'll also need to ensure you have adequate food storage facilities, and...
Enough of your rules! Where can I get me a piece of this pop-up restaurant action?
Try Horton Jupiter's Hackney-based The Secret Ingredient.