How did your career lead you to become a street food business owner?
My husband, David, and I set up Wholefood Heaven together and we both have very different stories. David is a classically trained chef and has worked for over 20 years across the UK and internationally in restaurants as diverse as The Ritz, Wiltons and Vong. Eight years ago, he became the head chef of the UK’s first gourmet raw vegan restaurant, SAF, so he is more than qualified in the world of vegetarian cuisine! As a lifelong vegetarian and with a strong interest in alternative medicine and experimenting with plant based food, I trained as a homeopath and worked for a leading natural health company, whilst also writing about food! We were keen to create a way of life where we could indulge in our passion for food and travel, so made the decision to quit our jobs. The rest is history!
This month’s Ultimate Guide to Street Food is all about British cuisine – how does British cuisine inspire you?
Our menu is hugely inspired by British cuisine. When we’re out at markets and festivals we serve our unique Buddha Bowls, which are noodle pots filled with delicious British vegetables, sourced from suppliers local to the area we’re trading in that day. The Buddha Bowls might sound like they are wholly inspired by the Far East, but there is always a British twist in there somewhere! Our signature Buddha Bowl contains massaman curry with locally grown new potatoes and we like to offer our own take on some of the classics, like fish and chips for example, where we substitute the fish for tofu or halloumi.
Do you think British food is as big an inspiration to street food as other world cuisines?
There are a lot of people doing really great things with British food and British ingredients so I’d say it is as big an inspiration in this country, probably because there are lots of old favourites and fantastic produce to use. For us personally, we generally just combine our favourite elements from around the world, but our Buddha Bowl certainly wouldn’t be the same without the Lancashire kale! We also love to use seasonal and local vegetables and experiment with new ways of cooking with them.