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Fresh, mobile eats at the Kerbside Gourmet

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Truffle fries. Cold Mentaiko pasta with crabmeat. Pea puree with sous vide egg. All freshly cooked from a food truck at affordable prices. 

Pea Puree
A converter of pea-haters, the Pea Puree with sous vide egg is fast becoming a signature dish of the Kerbside Gourmet.

Restaurateur and entrepreneur Luan Ee is taking fine dining on the road with the Kerbside Gourmet, a food truck affectionately nicknamed “Kerby”.  Featuring soul food made from fresh, organic ingredients, the business aims to make restaurant-standard gourmet meals accessible to the man (and woman) in the street.

Like almost 50% of Europe’s Michelin-starred restaurants, Kerby uses Electrolux appliances in its kitchen to cook its gourmet meals.

And it’s all done in the truck’s kitchen, which measures only eight square metres. Equipped by Electrolux, Kerby is part of a growing global food phenomenon of bringing high-end quality meals to the masses at affordable prices.  Closer to home, Sdyney’s very own Eat Art Truck is paving the way downunder by fusing delicious progressive street food with equally amazing street art.

But it’s not all about gourmet meals; it’s also about having a social vision.  For every meal sold, Kerby will match it with a free meal for under-privileged children that is prepared by retired seniors looking for employment.

Describing herself as a “free-range human” and “extra virgin entrepreneur” on her website, Ee shares more about her adventures in this new gourmet food truck business.

Could you tell us about yourself and why you started Kerby?
I spent 20 years in the corporate world as a communications practitioner helping my clients to build their brands. Now I’m building my own brand from scratch.  And while I enjoyed the 20-year run – I made good friends and money – I decided I wouldn’t want to continue to do it for another 20 years. So I decided to create a second career, a new life as an entrepreneur.

I spent a year in two different restaurants and one culinary school to learn the basics of F&B before I decided to use my new skills to start a food truck business.

What made you decide to work on this concept vs. opening a traditional restaurant?
You see about 100 new restaurants opening and another 100 closing every week in Singapore.  Why be another?  I wanted to bring some buzz to the streets, offer a new curb side dining experience for discerning palates looking for alternatives and a more sublime dining experience.

The cold Japanese mentaiko pasta with crabmeat is another popular dish at Kerby’s.

What were the greatest challenges faced in setting up Kerby?
Obtaining the regulators’ confidence that we are a responsible food vendor was one of the biggest challenges. You need time, patience, and perseverance. Operationally, we have set up systems and processes to ensure a smooth workflow in a space-constrained truck!

What is your favourite Electrolux appliance?
The Electrolux induction hob is most practical for cooking in Kerby as we’re not allowed to use an open fire in a truck. I’ve found this as well as the oven to be most practical for keeping food warm and fresh.

What is your favourite dish to cook?

Although just launched, the Kerby concept is already proving popular with diners.

I have many personal favourites. One is a slow-baked garlic chicken leg with basil. Slow cooking (versus fast food) adds flavour while retaining nutrients in your food.  Using the Electrolux EOB5300X oven, this dish requires 90 minutes at 180oC to bring out the best in the chicken. We did not serve it one day, and we had customers looking for it!

How do you balance a new business with family life and kids?
Unlike working in a restaurant with long hours and no work-life balance, the truck offers the flexibility to open only on certain days at certain locations. I’ve been blessed to be able to spend good quality time with my three teenagers even after starting Kerby.

Find out where Kerby’s headed next at its Facebook page!

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