“I wanted to show how good veg­e­tar­ian food can be”

Living France - - LIFESTYLE - cui­sine-verte.com

I’ve been veg­e­tar­ian for 36 years. We came to France 14 years ago and found that when­ever we wanted to eat out, it was al­ways al­most im­pos­si­ble to find any­thing de­cent. I wanted to show peo­ple how good veg­e­tar­ian food can be, which is why I set up the busi­ness.

I de­signed a food truck and had it built in the UK (as it was cheaper), and then Peter and I fit­ted it out here. I reg­is­tered as an auto-en­tre­pre­neur (now mi­croen­trepreneur) and went to see the DDPP (Di­rec­tion Dé­parte­men­tale de la Pro­tec­tion des Pop­u­la­tions) to find out about its re­quire­ments – for ex­am­ple, I have three sinks in my truck – one for wash­ing up, one for hand wash­ing and an­other for wash­ing veg­eta­bles.

I had a lit­tle bit of a slow start as it took some time for peo­ple to get to know me and to build up a client base. But these days I do at least two mar­kets a week at St-Lô and Vire all year round (of­ten more in the sum­mer months) and have two reg­u­lar en­camp­ments at lo­cal or­ganic shops. I also go to fes­ti­vals and cater at pri­vate func­tions.

The vast ma­jor­ity of my clients are French and most aren’t veg­e­tar­ian – they sim­ply like what I do. I have a cou­ple of clients who come ev­ery sin­gle day. Be­cause I cook in the van rather than else­where, peo­ple of­ten pass in the morn­ing to see what I’m cook­ing and place an or­der or come back later on. In the sum­mer I put out some ta­bles and chairs so peo­ple can eat straight­away.

I al­ways have wraps with falafels and hum­mus on of­fer, while the hot dishes will vary day to day and ac­cord­ing to the sea­son. Typ­i­cal ex­am­ples might in­clude a veg­etable ragout or a veg­gie chilli – I also make cakes and in win­ter, usu­ally a soup too. All my in­gre­di­ents are or­ganic and I source as many as pos­si­ble lo­cally – I have a part-time job work­ing with a mar­ket gar­dener so a lot of my ini­tial prod­ucts come from him. So I get to plant and har­vest the veg­gies, then I take them and cre­ate my dishes, which I then see eaten. It’s very re­ward­ing.

Veg­e­tar­i­ans are still a very small mi­nor­ity in France, but peo­ple who are per­haps think­ing of be­com­ing veg­e­tar­ian some­times come to me to ask ad­vice about nu­tri­tion and recipes. I’m in the process of try­ing to set up a veg­e­tar­ian as­so­ci­a­tion lo­cally – a lot of my clients seem to think they are the only veg­e­tar­ian in the area, which isn’t the case. There are more of us than you might think!"

Sarah Wells serves healthy and de­li­cious veg­e­tar­ian dishes in­clud­ing falafels, flans and sal­ads from her food truck in Manche

Sarah Wells, 49, lives in Lam­berville, Manche, with her part­ner Peter White, 49, a build­ing sur­veyor, and 14-year-old son Milo. She set up her veg­e­tar­ian cater­ing truck busi­ness, Cui­sine Verte, in spring 2014.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.