You may be taken aback, as I was, to hear that Edinburgh has taken the initiative and declared itself the host of Scotland's very first Restaurant Day on November 15.

This isn't what it sounds; it's not a Doors Open day for eating establishments. It's actually an idea conceived in Helsinki, and now adopted in 55 countries, of creating as many pop-up restaurants in one day, in as many unusual places, as possible.

Last week, a meeting organised by Nordic Horizons took place in the Scottish capital to discuss the possibilities of it joining the worldwide movement on this, the next scheduled date. The response was unanimous: yes, it could. And that, for me, is where the surprise comes in. The point of the whole thing is that city officials aren't consulted in advance, so no time is wasted in seeking the relevant trading licences and safety certificates. It works best when lots of people do it, as there's less likelihood of the authorities coming after you and once it's a fait accompli, you've established a precedent. In some areas, restrictions don't apply to temporary pop-ups anyway. Trust is the key ingredient.

Restaurant Day is now the world's biggest food carnival, and happens four times a year. So far, 8500 one-day restaurants have been created by an estimated 35,000 amateur restaurateurs catering for an ­estimated 930,000 customers.

Timo Santala, co-founder of the Helsinki Restaurant Day, spoke of people using attics, basements, boats, wine cellars and disused railway tracks. A finger food restaurant for babies, a Viking menu in a tattoo shop, hangover pizzas complete with painkillers and a traditional Somali dinner served in a Somali home. Of streets filled with people talking to each other.

The idea goes against all accepted practice when it comes to serving food in public places. Thus it's subversive, and hugely exciting. Who would have thought that Edinburgh could be so radical as to be first in the UK to embrace it?

You'll know, I trust, that I've already championed Glasgow as the place that does pop-ups best, due to its natural subversive streak and legions of resourceful young foodies. I've yet to be convinced that's not the case. If it's planning a similar event, the reason it's not known about is probably for the reasons stated above: you simply don't advertise these things openly; you just go for it. That said, I hear that Perth & Kinross and ­Highlands & Islands councils are potentially interested. Would it be too much to hope that all of Scotland could host a Restaurant Day in one single 24-hour serving?

On reflection, calling it Restaurant Day is a smart move: a red herring designed to put the authorities off the trail. After all, guerilla dining is anti-establishment in both senses. It has no fixed abode; and its purpose is to engage ordinary people who can't pay/won't pay the prices at a mainstream restaurant. It's about democratic renewal though food, where people take charge of their city, engage ethnic communities, and get to taste healthy, locally sourced food.

Less a case of let them eat cake than let the people sow their own grass roots.