Chef Maria Honkenburg, most notable for her stint in Japan where she opened the world’s first restaurant for birds, is truly thinking outside of the box with her latest endeavor.
Along with business partner Dave Smith-Johnson, the two have launched a concept that seeks to replicate the American office breakroom and disrupt the restaurant scene as we know it.
“Essentially, we’re looking to capture the office breakroom experience in places you may or may not expect it, with cuisine that harkens to the traditions of office breakrooms,” said Smith-Johnson, “We think it’s pretty cool and with a lot of moving parts.”
Included in the pop-up are awkward table arrangements where people have the option to sit alone and stare at their phone, or directly face each other in chairs that were fetched from the dumpster of a high school nearby. Honkenberg and Smith-Johnson have spared no detail: there’s a bulletin board with one flyer begging you to come see some dude’s band this Friday, and a fridge filled with three expired cans of sugar-free soda.
But what about the food???
“Chef has curated a menu that will undoubtedly speak to the American office breakroom experience. We invite you to join us at out next pop-up and enjoy treats and delights that inspire you in ways previously unheard of from a real thought-leader in this industry,” said Smith-Johnson.
Among the items on the menu are a garden salad of wilting lettuce, baby carrots, grape tomatoes, a hardboiled egg and a salad dressing best described as “sour and weird”. There is also a Genoa salami sandwich on untoasted wheat bread with no fix-ins and exactly 6 drops of yellow mustard. For adventurous diners, there is a rigatoni and brand-name pasta sauce option, or one of Chef’s specialties; 1-Day Old chicken breast with pesto.
All dishes are served in Tupperware that looks like a cat has been scratching at it for the past nine hours. Desserts are currently unavailable, but in lieu of sweets, Chef will have a friend of hers sit next to you and openly gripe about how hard life is and that having dreams at a young age is more hazardous than productive.
Look for Chef’s pop-up at a breakroom near you!