Meet Vinn Goute at the #FBC12 Market
Street food trader Kristofer Adelaide of Vinn Goute, (@VinnGoute) serves up the best Seychelles inspired street food in London and will be offering his exotic fare at the #FBC12 Market on Sunday the 30th of September.
So, just who are Vinn Goute?
Vinn Goute is a Seychellois family team, comprising of Aunty Maria (Maria Ernest) and her niece and nephew (Kristofer and Julie Adelaide). We are the core team who do most of the market days. Other people who are always helping are Kris and Julie’s mum, Mimi (support), Aunty Maria’s husband Kidson (Chef), their kids Kelvin, Kirsten and Shana. We also have some friends who have played a major role in getting us started.
Tell us a bit about food from the Seychelles?
Seychelles food is like the people of Seychelles exogenous, it has influences from Africa, Asia, China and Europe from all the settlers that originally came to these beautiful islands mixed in with the natural sources of these islands.
What does it mean to you?
Food from Seychelles to us is the smell of onions, garlic and ginger sizzling in the pan with hints of the different spices being mixed in. The taste of sweet, juicy, a little bit of heat and the melting and meeting of different ingredients on the palate.
It’s the sound of the crash of waves by the sea, fishermen bringing in the ‘catch of the day’. The burning of wood from the outside oven and the sound of our grandmother calling “Vinn goute, come and taste!”
What makes the food you serve so special?
The food we serve is unique people taste it and then immediately ask where’s this food from, ‘It’s really good’. People are intrigued by Seychelles, Who? Where? We are always asked and by the delicious food – octopus curry, shark chutney, mango salad. I know this is cliché but it’s food that we love and when we cook it, it comes from the heart, and I think some of that is what the customer gets – that love and warmth.
After Vinn Goute, what other food stalls out there do you think are really good?
Personally I (Kristofer) love a good burger and think that the redefinition of the burger van in the last few years has brought better quality meats to a very standard product. There is an excitement of having a really good burger and I think stalls such as @Lucky_chip and @MEATliquor has ensured the standard of the burger to a greater level.
If you could only eat one dish, which would it be?
Always have your breakfast; my Mum drilled this in me. If we could only eat one dish it would be octopus curry and fish samosa hmmm or parrot fish cakes. (I guess that is three things)
Who is your favourite food blogger?
The best food bloggers – the makers and shakers, all who have blogged and tweeted about our food.
Victoria Stewart of the Evening Standard (@VicStewart)
Petra Barran of Eat.St (@EatStreet)
Richard Johnson of the Guardian (@RichardJohnsonx)
What (positive) effect are food bloggers having on the country’s food scene?
Food blogger’s let you know the good, the bad and the ugly. They do all the footwork by visiting markets, restaurants etc and give an honest view of the foods on offer. It is also a chance for the food industry to make a better product if a blogger states something that they dislike.
What words of wisdom would you share with those keen to get involved with street food?
You have to be passionate about your food. It involves lots of hard work, determination and a good product. Invite lots of friends and ask them for their true opinion! Have good branding that’s memorable and have a good team and work together.
What inspired you to start Vinn Goute?
The idea of VINN GOUTE was conceived at a party at my Aunty Maria’s house in April 2011. My sister and I had always spoken on how excellent the foods my aunt cooked are and made us feel like we were back home in the Seychelles. After much consideration and chatter, I approached my aunt with the idea, which she laughed at, but I could see an excited glare in her eyes.
Less than a month later at my architect practice I was working on a project to refurbish a building to be used by a social enterprise that ran markets within the poorer parts of the borough in the city of Westminster. I lavished the opportunity to ask for a spot at one of UK’s largest festivals strip the ‘Notting Hill Carnival -This was going to be big!
In Less than a month we had found a stall space, all our equipment, our menu, staff, etc. and VINNGOUTE was born. The hardest bit was the name, and the long hours of prepping! But we had two successful days over the Carnival Weekend and were voted the best stall at the market for food and presentation. We saw how fun this was and how we could possibly do this at a more regular basis.
So after a few odd markets in 2011, we all decided that we needed a home. We got a fantastic regular spot at Portobello’s Premier Fine Farmers and Fine Food Market, now known as the Acklam Village where we used to trade up until July 2012. We are now doing more and more markets in East, North, South and West London. We are getting busier and busier and Seychellois are one of our best clientele.
The most interesting is the fact that people are so curious about our food; they try it and really enjoy it. We get regular customers who didn’t have a clue Seychelles even existed but are now contemplating on trying to get there to visit.
And where do you see it going? Is this a hobby or is there an endgame?
At present we all have jobs and do this as a hobby. Once we start getting major orders, events or festivals we may have to rethink this strategy. Currently, we like doing night markets, as we believe our food is an evening choice.
Any particular anecdote that reflects what makes your job worth all the hard work?
The happy faces of customers who have never tried our food before, they then try it, fall in love with it and want more!
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