Successful pilot Food on the Table

On Monday evening, January 16, the first edition of Food on the Table took place. I saw it as a pilot: for the first time we brought together a long table, a hot meal and open dialogue in the Starterscafé. I look back on an inspiring evening with valuable feedback from the attendees!

The concept worked like this: in just under an hour we went through 6 courses in pairs. The food in front of you - fantastically provided by Carmen (from Starlounge Catering at the ATD) - remained the same, but each course came with a different stage of questions and conversation.  

Some of the questions:

  • The table-side chat: would you like to introduce yourself? How was your day?
  • The amuse: where are you from today? What do(es) you study?
  • The appetizer: with how many toes/feet/legs are you already in the work field? Do you enjoy making money?
  • The main course: how do you take good care of yourself? Do you separate work and personal life?
  • The dessert: what is your dream job? Oh and can I have your number?
  • The dishes (together): do you want to share what stood out? Do you have a tip for the other person?

Notable feedback during the dishes was how easy it is to start a good conversation with each other using a stack of cards. The safety, peace and warmth of eating and talking together worked well. It was also noticed that talking about money ('making money') can feel more personal and intimate than talking about where you come from. Then you notice that there is an (unnecessary) taboo on transparency about money.

The last thing that stood out was how liberating it can be to meet peers who also experience graduation stress or who also have difficulty putting their phones/work aside. Great tips and experiences were exchanged.

A large part of the group also stuck around for Onno Swigchem's workshop Making Dreams Come True part 1. This complemented each other nicely, the safe space in the Starterscafé set up.

Job Leseman (he/they)

Production Officer Project Entrepreneurship

The next edition of Food on the Table is on March 6 at the AHK Culture Club.

Click here for more info and to sign up.