Taste of Chile right here at home

Marlborough Express - The Saturday Express, Marlborough - - FRONT PAGE - DAVID JAMES

The au­then­tic flavours of South Amer­ica are now avail­able on the Pic­ton fore­shore.

Mo­bile food truck La Ruca has opened at a prime spot at the water’s edge. But be­fore owner­op­er­a­tors Daniela Ar­cos and Se­bas­tian Rocha could fol­low their dreams, they had to quit their jobs.

‘‘We de­cided to quit our jobs last week and do this full­time,’’ Rocha says.

‘‘We’ve been run­ning the food truck part-time for three years, but now we want to give it every­thing we’ve got. And also en­joy our beau­ti­ful work­ing en­vi­ron­ment here.’’

The cou­ple have been pro­fes­sional chefs both in New Zealand, and in their na­tive Chile for 15 years now. For the past eight years they have called Marl­bor­ough home. They started the food truck four years ago and have been man­ag­ing their busi­ness part-time, while work­ing in winer­ies.

‘‘Now we wanna do some­thing dif­fer­ent, some­thing we love, and some­thing for the peo­ple,’’ Ar­cos says. ‘‘We are both chefs, and this is our pas­sion. You have to do what you love.’’

The pair ar­rived in the North Is­land on a work­ing hol­i­day visa nine years ago, but it was Marl­bor­ough they fell in love with.

‘‘Be­cause look at this,’’ Ar­cos says with her arms out­stretched to­wards the water.

‘‘It’s beau­ti­ful! It’s per­fect for us.’’

The two are from San­ti­ago, Chile and they say that it was the life­style that at­tracted them to New Zealand

’’San­ti­ago is a very busy city. Here is quiet, the peo­ple are nice, ev­ery­one is su­per friendly. Then we got a hol­i­day work­ing visa and so we tried it out, and we fell in love with New Zealand,’’ Ar­cos says.

The pair serve up au­then­tic Chilean street food, in­clud­ing chacareros, a Chilean sand­wich made with thinly sliced chur­rasco-style steak, on a round roll with toma­toes, mayo, and green beans or av­o­cado.

‘‘We have the au­then­tic Chilean sand­wich that you eat in the street that is ev­ery­where in Chile.

‘‘And they are good for when you have been to party and are hun­gry,’’ Rocha says.

They also serve up Chileanstyle em­panadas, a stuffed and fried bread or pas­try

‘‘We also have ba­con egg and cheese sand­wiches. But we al­ways try to con­vince peo­ple to try an au­then­tic Chilean sand­wich.’’

La Ruca can be found on the fore­shore from Wed­nes­day to Sun­day, 11am to 7pm.

They are also avail­able for cater­ing, wed­dings, an­niver­saries, birth­days or cor­po­rate events.

PHOTO: DAVID JAMES/STUFF

Daniela Ar­cos and Se­bas­tian Rocha must have the best view of any food truck­ers in New Zealand.

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