Top tucker by the sea­side

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

Rick Stein-cal­i­bre food can be had for small change from Mana’s Dolly Var­den re­serve this sum­mer.

Kapiti foodies Paul Sel­lars and Greg Churcher have set up their ‘‘al­most-gourmet’’ Food For The Peo­ple stand at the sea­side re­serve on Thurs­days and Fri­days, serv­ing ba­con and egg butties, white­bait frit­ters and ‘‘MLTs’’, mus­sel frit­ter, let­tuce and to­mato sand­wiches.

English­man Mr Sel­lars worked for years as Stein’s right-hand man, help­ing set up the celebrity chef’s iconic The Seafood Restau­rant in Cornwall in the 1990s.

‘‘Rick was still cook­ing in the kitchen then so I worked very closely with him for seven years,’’ Mr Sel­lars says.

He then ran Stein’s cook­ery school for five years, but moved to New Zealand in 2006 for a qui­eter and more sus­tain­able life­style.

Food For The Peo­ple was born when Mr Sel­lars met fel­low food en­thu­si­ast Mr Churcher and the pair saw a gap in the mar­ket for top- shelf, sus­tain­ably- sourced mar­ket food. All their pork is free farmed, and their white­bait comes from the West Coast.

‘‘It’s really im­por­tant to us that we know our sup­pli­ers,’’ Mr Sel­lars says. ‘‘We’re sell­ing fresh, healthy food.’’

At week­ends they are at the Frank Kitts Park Un­der­ground Mar­ket, Thorn­don’s Hill St Farmer’s Mar­ket and the Har­bour­side Mar­ket in Wai­tangi Park.

Porirua seemed a nat­u­ral place to ex­pand the busi­ness, and the ef­fu­sive pair are hav­ing a ball, fish­ing and swim­ming in quiet times be­tween cus­tomers.

‘‘This isn’t a job, it’s a hol­i­day,’’ Mr Churcher says.

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