As part of our ongoing efforts to expand our services, especially for larger events. We have added a new Spanish Churros unit.
In the past we have added churros making equipment to various of our existing catering units. This one has been purpose built especially for high volume events, although it will work just as well at a wedding or smaller event.
High Capacity Churros Making Kit
To partner with our new unit, we selected a range of kit from J L Blanco, one of Spain’s leading manufacturers of churros making equipment.
High yield circular fryers were added in both electric and gas versions, allowing us the ability to operate with low power generators where necessary, or utilise the higher throughput of the electric fryer when adequate power is avialable.
Automatic Churros Dispenser
To partner with the fryer we selected a fully automatic dough dispenser. This dispenses, measures and cuts the extruded dough to the correct length, dropping a pre selected number of churros into the fryer at the touch of a button giving our churros box a super high yield potential.
Of course knowing the propensity of electronics to cease working at the most inconvenient of times, we also added a manual dispenser, allowing us to do it the old fashioned way.
Birmingham Cathedral Market
The first outing for the new churros box was the cathedral Christmas market in Birmingham. A 5 week stint serving churros at the festive event proved the units worth.
Although the unit is perfectly at home with smaller events, it is designed primarily for larger events and festival, where it can operate constantly at high speed for hours on end. If you are planning a major event, or just have a lot of hungry guests then this is the way to go.
The first in our series about some of the weird and wonderful burgers out there. The ‘slider’ comes from White Castle, who are generally accepted to be the earliest burger chain in the good ole USA.
Launched in 1921 by Billy Ingram, selling small square hamburgers ‘so easy to eat’ they were dubbed sliders. the idea was you ‘bought em by the sack.’ They were designed to be bought in bulk, more of a bite sized burger than a full on meal.
Inspired by the burger that started it all, the original White Castle Slider. Caramelised onions, cheddar cheese, tomato, lettuce and pickles.
Holes In The Burgers
One unusual feature of the sliders, are the five holes in the patty. This serves the dual purpose of cooking the pattie quicker, as they are usually piled high in the steamer, and allowing the flavour from the bed of onions they are cooked upon, to permeate throughout the stack.
Chicken and Waffle Slider
They now have a range of different sliders, not only in the typical burger bun, but in between waffles or toast.
This one comes with crispy chicken breast, topped with bacon and sandwiched between two Belgian waffles.
French Toast Slider
Or how about this one, Cinnamon swirl French toast, with egg, American cheese and sausage or smoked bacon.
White castle sliders are considered to be one of the most influential burgers in history, kickstarting an entire fast food industry, along with innovations such as standardised food production across the whole chain, and the kitchen as a production line.
Using food trucks for brand activation offers several benefits that can help businesses engage with their audience in a unique and memorable way. Here are some of the advantages of incorporating food trucks into your brand activation strategy:
Increased Visibility: Food trucks are mobile and can be strategically placed in high-traffic areas, allowing your brand to reach a larger and more diverse audience. They can be present at events, festivals, or locations that are relevant to your target demographic.
Novelty and Unique Experience: Food trucks provide a novel and unique experience for customers. People are often drawn to the idea of enjoying delicious food in an unconventional setting, which can leave a lasting impression.
Interactive Engagement: Food trucks offer opportunities for interactive engagement. Customers can watch their food being prepared, interact with the staff, and provide instant feedback. This interaction can foster a deeper connection between your brand and your customers.
Social Media Buzz: Food trucks are highly shareable on social media platforms. Customers often share their food truck experiences, including photos and reviews, which can create organic buzz and word-of-mouth marketing for your brand.
Sampling and Product Promotion: Food trucks are an excellent way to offer samples of your products. This is particularly effective for food and beverage brands, but it can also work for other types of businesses. Sampling allows potential customers to try your products, increasing the likelihood of conversion.
Branding Opportunities: Food trucks can be branded with your company’s logo, colors, and messaging. This serves as a mobile billboard for your brand and enhances brand visibility.
Cost-Effective Marketing: Setting up a food truck can be more cost-effective than traditional advertising or brick-and-mortar retail spaces. It allows you to reach your audience without the overhead of a physical store.
Flexibility and Adaptability: Food trucks offer flexibility in terms of location and menu. You can adapt your offerings and the truck’s location to suit different events or changing customer preferences.
Data Collection: You can collect valuable customer data through interactions at the food truck. This information can be used for future marketing efforts, helping you better understand your audience.
Cross-Promotion: Collaborating with other food trucks or businesses can lead to cross-promotion. This can help you tap into each other’s customer bases and expand your reach.
Community Engagement: Participating in local events and festivals through a food truck can demonstrate your brand’s commitment to the community and enhance your brand’s reputation.
Experiential Marketing: Food trucks offer a tangible and sensory experience. Customers can taste, smell, and see your products, creating a more memorable and sensory-rich brand activation.
Innovative Marketing: Using a food truck is an innovative approach to marketing that can set your brand apart from competitors and demonstrate your creativity and willingness to try new strategies.
Incorporating food trucks into your brand activation strategy can be a creative and effective way to connect with your audience, increase brand visibility, and foster positive brand associations. It offers a dynamic and engaging approach that can leave a lasting impact on potential customers.
The hamburger, a quintessential American fast-food icon, has a history that extends far beyond its association with the United States. Its origins can be traced back to the bustling streets of 19th-century Hamburg, Germany, where the first prototypes of this beloved sandwich emerged. Over time, the hamburger has evolved from a humble street food to a symbol of globalization, finding its way onto menus in every corner of the world. Let’s delve into the fascinating journey of the hamburger, tracing its transformation from a local delicacy to a global culinary sensation.
Origin in Hamburg, Germany:
The roots of the hamburger can be found in the German city of Hamburg, where the concept of minced beef, seasoned and shaped into patties, was a popular local dish. Immigrants from Hamburg, seeking new opportunities, brought their culinary traditions with them to the United States in the 19th century. It was in the bustling streets of American cities, notably New York, that the hamburger began to take on its modern form.
Evolution in the United States:
While its exact origins in the United States remain a topic of debate, the hamburger gained popularity at the turn of the 20th century, particularly during the rise of the fast-food culture. Numerous accounts credit various American diners and restaurants for popularizing the hamburger as we know it today. One of the earliest and most notable mentions is Louis’ Lunch in New Haven, Connecticut, which claims to have served the first hamburger sandwich in 1900.
Rise of Fast-Food Culture: With the advent of the fast-food industry, the hamburger quickly became a staple on menus across the nation. The post-World War II era saw an explosion of fast-food chains, such as McDonald’s, Burger King, and Wendy’s, which played a pivotal role in cementing the hamburger’s position in American culture. The simplicity, convenience, and affordability of the hamburger contributed to its widespread appeal, making it a favourite choice for people of all ages.
Globalization and Cultural Integration:
As the world became more interconnected, the hamburger transcended its American roots and found its way onto menus worldwide. Its adaptability allowed for endless variations, incorporating diverse ingredients and flavors to suit local palates. From the Japanese teriyaki burger to the Indian masala burger, each culture added its unique twist, contributing to the hamburger’s evolution as a global culinary phenomenon.
The Modern Hamburger:
In the 21st century, the hamburger continues to undergo innovative transformations, catering to diverse dietary preferences and culinary trends. With an increasing focus on sustainability and plant-based diets, the rise of the veggie burger and plant-based meat alternatives has redefined the traditional concept of the hamburger, appealing to a broader audience concerned about health and the environment.
Conclusion: The history of the hamburger is a testament to the power of cultural exchange and culinary evolution. From its humble beginnings in Hamburg, Germany, to its status as a global fast-food icon, the hamburger remains a symbol of cultural integration and gastronomic innovation. Its ability to adapt and evolve with changing times has solidified its place in the hearts and taste buds of people around the world, making it an enduring culinary classic for generations to come.
Although going at a sedate pace due to the amount of work we have, we have been carrying out some of the preparatory work on turning our imported American fire truck, into a food truck.
On Board Power
The food truck was intended to be self sufficient, and as part of this it was intended to have on board power. There are a number of cabinets on the truck, but all were a bit tight for space to install a generator with a decent power output.
Eventually we happened on a Yanmar 25kva unit. At 3000rpm it would be a bit noisy so we were gonna need to put a bit of work into sound proofing, but with a minor alteration to the mounting feet, it slid in the rear compartment like it was made to measure.
Rear CompartmentIn Situ
We acquired a noise meter to get a baseline reading, and at 1 metre we were experiencing an average of 105dB. Ouch!
We added a layer of Tecsound, intended to act as a barrier and also prevent noise transmission through the steel canopy. Then added some 50mm thick noise block sheet, which was basically around 40mm of high density foam, then a layer of lead, then a 6mm layer of foam to decouple the panel from the wall. To avoid blocking the end panel air flow too much we used a thinner 35mm version.
The reading after this was an average of 85dB, which sound being a logarithmic scale actually means we have cut the perceived noise level to around a quarter of what it started. Good, but we ideally want it down by another 10dB, or half again.
Most of the apparent noise appears to be coming from a combination of the top box housing the exhaust silencer and underneath the truck. The air intake and exhaust are actually underneath so these are basically open vents into the box.
We have two more actions to try and solve this. First we are having baffled outlets made to cover both the inlet and outlet vents. A layer of soundproofing on the underneath of the cabinet floor would probably help as well.
Secondly we intend to box in the silencer with sound proofing.
Stay tuned for an update on where we get it too.
Adding the consumer trip unit and a changeover switch to the side access panel.Exhaust Outlet
To try and keep the truck looking like a fire engine, rather then a funfair truck, we have piped the exhaust from the generator to one of the water pipe outlets on the unit, it probably needs a removable elbow and vertical pipe fitting for when it is in use, as that will also cut the noise down, but on the road it looks stock.
As far as we can tell in the UK, this will be the first fire truck food truck, well, American fire truck, I have seen a British Green Goddess in use to serve food, and a couple of typical Dennis type engines.
In the realm of culinary delights, certain dishes capture our attention not only for their taste but also for their unique presentation. One such culinary marvel are the tornado fries. These spiralled wonders offer a delightful twist to the classic fries experience, combining crispiness with an eye-catching aesthetic that adds a dash of excitement to any dining adventure.
The Art of Creation:
Tornado fries, also known as twisted fries, are crafted through a meticulous process that involves spiral-cutting potatoes before they are deep-fried to achieve a perfect balance of crispy texture and softness within. The result is an intriguing visual appeal that resembles a whirlwind, making these fries an instant hit for both the palate and the eyes.
Diverse Flavor Journeys:
What truly sets these fries apart is their ability to accommodate a diverse range of flavours. From classic seasonings like salt and pepper to adventurous blends of herbs and spices, tornado fries offer an ideal canvas for culinary experimentation. Whether paired with a zesty dip, a creamy sauce, or even a savoury topping, the tornado fries never fail to deliver a whirlwind of flavours that leave taste buds craving more.
Beyond their delectable taste and visually appealing form, tornado fries offer a unique sensory experience that elevates any dining occasion. The distinct crunch as you bite into the spiral, followed by the burst of flavours dancing on your palate, creates a memorable sensation that lingers long after the last bite.
In the world of gastronomy, tornado fries stand out as a delightful fusion of art and taste. Their unique form, combined with their versatility in flavour, ensures they remain a favourite for food enthusiasts of all ages. So, the next time you seek an adventure for your taste buds, let the tornado fries whisk you away on a flavourful journey you won’t soon forget.
Imagine sipping a cool, refreshing concoction that encapsulates the spirit of a British summer. A drink that has stood the test of time, evoking nostalgia and a sense of conviviality. Welcome to the world of Pimm’s, the quintessentially English beverage that has enchanted generations with its unique blend of flavors and its rich history.
The story of Pimm’s dates back to the mid-19th century when James Pimm, a farmer’s son from Kent, London, set up a shellfish bar in the city. It was in this oyster house that Pimm began serving a secret blend of gin, quinine, and a proprietary mixture of herbs, creating what would eventually become known as Pimm’s No. 1 Cup. This original concoction was touted for its distinctive taste and its ability to aid digestion.
As word of Pimm’s elixir spread, its popularity surged, leading to the opening of more Pimm’s Oyster Houses across London. However, it wasn’t until 1859 that Pimm’s No. 1 was officially bottled and sold for retail consumption, marking the birth of an iconic brand that would soon become synonymous with British summer gatherings and social events.
The early 20th century witnessed the introduction of various Pimm’s ‘cups,’ each denoted by a number, including Pimm’s No. 2 (Scotch whisky-based), No. 3 (brandy-based), No. 4 (rum-based), and No. 5 (rye-based). However, it was Pimm’s No. 1 Cup that gained unparalleled fame and became the go-to beverage for garden parties, regattas, and Wimbledon, firmly establishing itself as a symbol of British leisure and sociability.
Pimms Cup Cocktail
Over the years, Pimm’s has evolved into a versatile drink, often served with a mix of lemonade, fresh fruit, cucumber, and mint, creating the beloved Pimm’s Cup cocktail. Its refreshing and aromatic taste has made it a staple in the British drinking culture, enjoyed not only during summer but also as a year-round favorite for those seeking a taste of tradition and a touch of English elegance.
Today, Pimm’s continues to hold its position as a beloved classic, transcending generations and cultures, with its distinctive blend of flavors and its ability to bring people together. Whether it’s a garden party, a picnic in the park, or a sophisticated social gathering, Pimm’s remains a symbol of conviviality, relaxation, and the joy of shared moments.
As we raise our glasses filled with the fruity, herb-infused nectar, let us raise a toast to James Pimm, the visionary behind this timeless British elixir that continues to capture hearts and palates, embodying the spirit of conviviality and the essence of British tradition.
Here’s to the enduring legacy of Pimm’s—a drink that has withstood the tides of time and continues to weave its magic into the fabric of British culture and beyond.
Hire Our Little Red Pimms Van
Our little red Pimms van is the perfect quirky way to have your Pimms served. Summer or winter, hot or cold, this adds a touch of Gallic flair to any event.
Having just ordered a couple of new vans (not electric vans, the old fashioned kind), I got to thinking about the approaching date of 2030, when the government ban on ICE vehicles comes into effect. What would this mean for our business and fleet of vehicles.
My own personal car is pretty much a plaything. I occasionally take it for a blast around the local countryside. Go to an occasional meeting, and perhaps to social functions. Some years it does a couple thousand mile, so this could easily be replaced with an electric alternative.
Vans, The Mainstay Of Our Business
But what about the part of our fleet that actually works for a living. We use a fleet of mid range vans, mainly from the PSA group (Citroen, Fiat, Vauxhall etc). So I took a look at how suitable these would be. The truth is, not very. They have a maximum towing capacity of 1000kg. Whilst our lightest catering unit is 1600kg. So they are off the list.
The only van we could find that would tow our units, is the Ford E Transit which is rated for 2000kg.
Ford very conveniently provide a range calculator. So I duly types in a typical scenario. Winter temperature, all season tyres, 75% load.
What I got back was the screen below;
Turns out that the maximum range at this set up is 82 miles. Not a lot of use on our regular trips to Edinburgh which is around 240 miles. So basically 2-3 charges needed en route.
BUT WAIT. A bit if investigation and it turns out that the advertised range, doesn’t actually work in the real world. Seems that around 80% of the claimed figure is more realistic. So that cuts us to 65.6 miles. (I will be generous and round it up to 66 miles). So that’s 3-4 charges needed en route.
BUT WAIT AGAIN. This calculator doesn’t allow you to factor in the fact that you are towing. A bit more digging and most sources claim that towing cuts the range in half. So we are now down to 33 miles. That puts us on 7-8 charges needed. Or would be if you could run the van down to empty before recharging, which isn’t really practical. So most chargers quote their charging time as being from 15%. So that lets me use 85% of the capacity. Or gives me 28 miles of travel before needing a recharge, which would push us towards the 8 charges needed.
Hmm, how long is a charge going to take. Well, best I can find is that it takes as little as 34 minutes to charge it to 80% capacity. So that means 34 minutes gives us 80% of 28 mile range which is 22.4 miles.
Now we are up to needing 10 recharges en route to Edinburgh.
But then we are only running the charge down to 15% before recharging, so basically 65% of the 28 miles or 18.2 miles. Or 13 charges.
At 34 minutes per charge that’s 442 minutes, or a little over seven hours of charging time needed, presuming the chargers are available without a wait at each location we need them.
We have just added 14 hours to our days work. Three members of staff on overtime at £20 per hour adds £840 to the days wage bill. Which means the job isn’t financially viable, which means those members of staff are out of a job.
But there is more. The Edinburgh job which we used to allow 5 hours driving each way and 4 hours to do the job, 14 in total. Is now 28 hours. So the van, equipment and staff wouldn’t be back in time fo the next days work. So now we need double the number of vans, catering units and equipment to do the same level of work.
Oh and in all of the above calculations, I have assumed that the air is perfectly still. Add in a 22 mile per hour headwind and those figure will look generous. It is estimated that a headwind of this speed cuts 20% from the range of a Tesla. So cut 20% from our range and we end up with 14.5 miles, or 16 charges or a bit over 9 hours charging time each way! That is basing the calculation on a Tesla, which aerodynamically speaking is super slippy compared to a house brick shaped Transit van, oh, and if you are unlucky enough to travel on a day with freezing temperatures, then your range drops another 10%.
At this rate, we will be lucky if the van manages to reach the end of our drive before needing a recharge.
In short, the Westminster based geniuses have no idea of how things work in the real world. The fact that a housewife doing 50 miles a week for her shopping can happily live with electric cars, does not translate to keeping the country running on a business basis.
A Cunning Plan
So, what can we do. Well the initial plan is to order double our normal fleet for delivery in 2029. This will get us a few years before we are forced into electric. The other option we are looking at is following the lead of an enterprising American guy, who added a generator to his Tesla, that bypassed the interlock to allow him to charge the car whilst he was driving it. A decent sized diesel generator in the back of each van might just give us a usable range, a bit like the electric diesel hybrid system Dr Porsche proposed for the German Tiger tank in WW2.
We are continually tinkering with services and ingredients. That’s the reason that where we once offered doughnuts in sugar, we now do a full range of toppings such as Biscoff, Orea, melted chocolate etc.
Since lockdown, burgers have become a big part of our workload. We tried a number of different options before settling on a range of pre made patties. These have had great reviews everywhere we have been, and for some of the larger jobs where we have served upto 4000 guests they have been the only option realistically.
Enter The Smash
We have however always hankered at adding smash burgers to our lineup. For smaller events such as weddings or private parties these would be fine. Instead of pre formed patties we would be using loosely packed minced beef. To take it to the ultimate we could use a mincing machine and use joints of beef, can’t get much fresher than that.
But what, I hear you ask is a smash burger. Well, it is quite simple to make. You take a loose ball of minced beef. Not packed too tight or it doesn’t work the same. You plop it down on a super hot heating surface. Then smash it flat with a weighted iron. Oh, and you need beef with a pretty high fat content, around 20%.
What happens is that the heat and the pressure combine causing the amino acids and sugars in proteins to react. This forms a deep, caramelised, rich crust, which takes the taste to new heights. The higher fat content melts in the burger stopping in from drying out and adding to the taste.
The Holy Grail, Deep, Caramalised, And Tasty
you can generally tell a smash burger from the uneven shape and height of the burger. Pre processed patties tend to be a uniform size and shape.