Many are familiar with the concept of pop-ups both at Yale and out in the real world. You sit with your chosen companions, enjoy a curated, often themed menu, then go on your way. Sugar & Salt, however, an off-campus pop-up, goes beyond the scope of the conventional pop-up meal, engaging diners in events that are entirely their own.

Note: All photography is taken from Sugar & Salt website with permission from Maya Geschwind.

Nicole Laszlo

Started by Yale senior Maya Geschwind in Fall 2016, Sugar & Salt complicates the idea of what it means to have a dining experience, using food as a way to bring people together to enjoy conversation, music and, yes, really good food.

Nicole Laszlo

Since getting her start working in professional kitchens at only 15 years old, Maya has certainly become a chef in her own right. Before she started S&S at Yale, Maya cooked as the only first-year chef in Y-PopUp's project "House of York" under Junzi's Lucas Sin and has worked as a chef in several other notable restaurants throughout high school and college

She takes inspiration for her cooking from Suzanne Goin, a James Beard award-winning, LA-based chef whom she worked under at Melrose hotspot Lucques in high school as well as from her experience working in famed Melbourne, Australia-based cafe Rustica Sourdough during her semester abroad. When further pressed about her muses, Maya said, "I cook what I like to eat." 

Nicole Laszlo

Part of what makes Sugar & Salt's events so special is that they take place in Maya's own off-campus home. Here, diners are not so much "diners," but guests coming together to socialize and eat.

While Sugar & Salt's brunch services are more traditional-- where guests can often pick their main course, eat on a real plate and primarily interact with their own party-- other events feature quirks unique to the S&S experience.

Nicole Laszlo

First (and definitely foremost), dinner always starts with a cheese course because it is Maya's favorite food-- I can't help to agree. Courses are also often served family-style on a long sheet of parchment or aluminum straight on the table itself, with guests using a slate as their personal plate. There is also often a bottomless drink option, which I'm not saying can make the event a pregame, but I'm totally saying it makes the event a pregame. 

Nicole Laszlo

That really is what Maya wants though-- for her meals to be thought of as social gatherings where the party not only starts but might end up.

Her next event on October 7th is a true testament to this concept: a swanky high tea (read: classy darty) complete with passed finger foods (of which the name really doesn't do these delicacies justice), frosé (and other on-trend cocktails) and live music from fellow Yale student Zack Sekoff (who has collaborated with Vince Staples and Thundercat).

You can buy tickets for the Swanky S&S event and future seatings on the Sugar & Salt website here, which are always reasonably priced and often cost less than other Yale-sponsored pop-ups.

This time around, a $17 dollar ticket will get you entrance, three craft cocktails and as many hors d'oeuvres you can stomach. Better yet, buy a group ticket and bring the whole squad to join in on the food and fun. Like all of Maya's events, it is sure to be plenty of both. 

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