This year Under Canvas, the student-run, one-night music festival right here in St Andrews, is going to be catered by none other than Fresh Revolution– one of Scotland’s newest food trucks. You may have seen them before at St Andrews Night Market, or perhaps even at the Castle Terrace Farmers’ Market every Saturday in Edinburgh. If you haven’t run into them yet, it’s definitely time for you to lose your farmers’ market virginity.
We were lucky enough to speak to Emily, one-half of the husband and wife team that is Fresh Revolution, to find out about their ethos and more importantly, a sneak preview of what they plan on cooking for us at Under Canvas.
Spoon: What inspired you to set up your own business?
Emily: Have you seen the movie Chef with Jon Favreau? It’s about a talented chef with a passion for well-sourced ingredients whose creativity is stifled by an overbearing restaurant owner. That was the situation for Chef Ronan, who found himself in the Lead-but-not-Head-Chef role at his last restaurant. When asked to develop a new menu, Ronan was excited to use alternative and sustainable cuts of meats and matching compliments. His suggestions, however, fell on deaf ears, and the menu remained as old-fashioned/style over substance as ever. The next day we started looking for mobile catering units.
For more reasons why you should watch Chef, the movie, click here.
Spoon: What is the meaning of ‘Fresh Revolution’, the name of your business?
Emily: Fresh Revolution is about changing perceptions of and reconnecting people to the origins of their foodstuffs, which we source directly from local farms, butchers and fish mongers. It’s about bringing affordable, restaurant-quality dishes to the masses, a revolution of delicious street food.
#SpoonTip – these guys are on to something, as it turns out eating local produce is actually better for your health.
Spoon: What do you think sets you apart from other food vendors that attend events similar to Under Canvas?
Emily: Ronan, our classically trained chef, serves up a thoughtful alternative to the typical street food fare. Our seasonal menu is continually changing, showcasing the best of what Scotland has to offer in the form of original and tasty dishes. We don’t limit ourselves to one concept or genre, instead allowing inspiration to create organic and fun dishes. We are also proud to use only compostable packaging (Vegware out of Edinburgh) and exclusively locally sourced ingredients- 100% Scottish. Lastly, we love collaborating with local suppliers and businesses to develop new and innovative tastes and to promote fellow local producers.
Spoon: Why did you choose a mobile food truck as opposed to a traditional restaurant or cafe? What benefits and difficulties have you encountered as a result?
Emily: We were inspired after seeing the prolific food truck scene in the States – even though, the weather on the whole over there is more conducive to al fresco dining (probably the biggest challenge that we face is the inclement Scottish seasons). The idea of making quality food accessible to those who don’t normally or can’t afford to go out for nice dinners was too tempting, however. In addition, it is important for us to build the business organically, without the influence of investors or banks, so starting small is important. Another big challenge is the lack of prep and storage space, especially when Chef Ronan is used to working in professional kitchens; he still aims to produce the same quality products without the fancy equipment and resources.
Click here to read more about what it is really like to run a food truck.
Spoon: What is the most popular item on your menu?
Emily: Our most popular dish is Irish Pakora, which was an accidental discovery when we forgot chickpea flour and the spud-loving chef was forced to improvise. Irish Pakora is an original take on the spiced Indian dish, boasting deep-fried potato, onion, cabbage and bacon. The pakoras sit on a bed of salad leaves and seasonal slaw, with a drizzle of aioli and homemade spicy relish.
Spoon: Last question, and perhaps the most obvious one, what can we expect on the menu from Fresh Revolution at Under Canvas?
Emily: Our menu is reliant on what our suppliers have in stock and what is in season, so this is by no means final, but it can at least give you an idea of what you can expect at Under Canvas,
- Buffalo Meatball Sub – Buffalo meat cooked in tomato sauce topped with smoked Barwhey cheddar and wild garlic aioli
- Smoked Haddock Fritter served with tzatziki and leaves
- Smoky Butternut Squash Chilli (vegan) served with flatbread
- Irish Pakora (gluten free)
- Seasonal Soup (veggie and gluten free)
- Chocolate and Beer Brownies.
If you haven’t bought your tickets to under canvas yet, they are still available but running out fast. Make sure you get one for some good tunes and (more importantly) great food.