Over the coming months we will be looking at street food vendors, producers and market traders from some of Londons best food gatherings, from Borough Market to KERB
Today is the day for introducing new mini-series. In addition to Stephen Rapoport of YourGrind on coffee we have the first of market trader profiles. Over the coming months we will be looking at street food vendors, producers and market traders from some of London’s best food gatherings, from Borough Market to KERB.
Up first we have the Speck Mobile — a little van selling big Austrian food. I asked Marco and Franz, the men behind the knudeln, to tell me about their project.
Tell me a little bit about yourselves…
Franz has been a chef since the age of sixteen, when he underwent an apprenticeship with the creator of Austria's Nouvelle Cuisine. Throughout his career he visited many places and finally this brought him to London where he started as a chef de partie and became executive head chef for a well-regarded hotel and restaurant operation in central London.
Marco started his working life after his studies in business administration in Austria. After six years he felt that he needed to improve his English language knowledge and moved to London intending to stay for one year. Four years later and with a ton of acquired knowledge he chose to open his own business and started importing premium food products from Austria to sell to the UK restaurant market. Then he met Franz and the Speck Mobile was born…
Pictured above: Speck Dumplings from Speck Mobile
How did the Speck Mobile come about?
We two Austrians met when Marco, the food merchant, was introduced to Franz, the chef. We discovered that we had a mutual love for traditional Austrian products as well as old Austrian recipes handed down over generations.
One sunny Saturday over lunch we were debating Austrian dishes and what county might have invented them. They soon realised that Austria’s culinary heritage is vast and that there are a lot of delicious dishes one could impress the UK public with, and so the Speck Mobile was born.
What is a typical trading day with the Speck Mobile like?
Everything starts at about 5am in the morning with breakfast and a good coffee. We normally meet at about 7am in our production kitchen to finalise the preparation for our day. Most of our produce is prepared the day before but the mise en place for service is done on the trading day itself.
At about 9am we leave the arch and drive to our trading location. Once we have arrived we set up our van and make everything ready for service. Service starts at 11.30am and finishes at around 2.30pm. We finish, pack our van and drive back to the production kitchen. After we’ve unloaded everything, we clean all our utensils and cooking appliances as well as giving our van the once over. When everything is clean we restock packaging material and finish at around 6pm.
What else should we know about you?
From street food to catering and private events there is no hill too steep for us Austrian guys. At Speck Mobile we strive to serve the best of Austria’s traditional dishes to the great British public. Our specialities are created from recipes which have been handed down through generations — and yes, they are grandmother approved — but we even go as far as to import raw products from regions in Austria to make our food taste like it being served in an alpine chalet. We take great pride in what we do and believe that this can be tasted in our food.