Member Feature - Gourmazin
Matthew Gormley, Business Owner and Chef at “Gourmazin” speaks to Select Lincolnshire about cooking and serving delicious street food from a vintage Citroen H Van.
Tell us about your background, how you came into your current role?
I have been a Chef for 25 years (21 in the RAF) where I served food all over the world. It was when I was in Melbourne Australia on an exchange programme when I saw some street food traders selling sausages with a twist and I thought, ‘I could do that’. After that my wife and I spent a year living in Holland and went to lots of events with street food traders and started to look for our own business. We thought a Citroen H van would be an eye catching vehicle to use for our business, so in 2014 we sourced a van, had her restored and booked our first event in May 2015.
Tell us about your team?
Currently, my team consists of just myself and my wife.
How does the business work?
Once we receive a booking for an event or wedding, we start planning and designing our menus. We then order the ingredients and prepare the van for business and serve all food to the highest standard possible.
What are your main products?
Gourmet burgers, chicken skewers, sausages and halloumi skewers with French fries.
Where do you buy your local produce from?
All my meats come fresh from Ancaster Butchers, and my fries, drinks and bread come Bookers in Grantham.
What do you find most challenging about what you do?
As a chef I like to design a menu which is different so nobody else will have the same food available. One of the first burgers I designed was pork, smoked paprika and chorizo burger with chilli cheese, salsa, baby gem served on a brioche bun. It sold that well that customers have purchased 2 in the same day before. I still have the burger on my menus 2 years later it’s that good.
How did you start out and how does that compare with where you are today?
We have come a long way since starting and have quickly realised there is no guarantees in this business/industry. You need to work hard, offer the best produce possible and enjoy it.
What does Lincolnshire mean to you and what does it mean to work here?
Whilst in the RAF, I completed 2 tours of duty at RAF Waddington & Coningsby and bought my first house in Lincoln, so you can pretty much say I like the place and what it has to offer. Asparagus is a favourite of mine and there’s so many good butchers all around.
What are your plans for the future of the business?
Once I finish the RAF at the end of the year I want to attend and work at more events. Ideally, I’d like to have 100 booked days a year – that’s one of my goals. I had 43 days trading last year and have already booked 53 this year with more to come. I’d also like to look into the possibility of running my own bistro, B&B or even a country pub with rooms.
What’s your favourite food recipe and why?
A halloumi & pepper skewer. It’s so simple to make and is such a good vegetarian dish that even attracts lots of meat eaters. Another favourite to serve during the Beer Festivals Fresh Pork & Beef Frikadellan Burger, Smoked Cheese, Sauerkraut, Crispy Onions & Curry Ketchup.
Do you engage with any other community groups or hold any joint events?
Previously, we have worked on some charity events for Lincs and Notts Air Ambulance, but we are too small a business to hold joint events at the minute.
Who is/are your food champion/s?
Gordon Ramsay. A hard working chef who has never been put off by the knock backs he has had throughout his life.
What do you enjoy most day to day?
Seeing and catching up with returning customers who appreciate what we do.
And finally, tell us something quirky about you or your business.
I had to have the van roof extended a foot due to me being 6”10.