Top tucker by the seaside
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.