The life and food diary of festivals has developed a lot since the mid-nineties when greasy burgers and fries were the only things on the menu. We’ve become pretty privy to our adventurous taste buds hitting the festival foodie scene over the past few years, with exotic food such as wild hog patties, elk-burgers and coal-coloured hot dogs, all steering us in a more diverse direction, at least for a couple of our festival meals. Enter Britta and Ronnie — the German pair who take their food truck strictly to festivals… and the thing they serve has practically no competition in the entire world. These are the guys who own the world’s first salmon kebab truck.
Ronnie: “We started creating our salmon kebab in August 2014. At that point, we didn’t move. We had a normal food truck in a fixed location and we were smoking fish. Then we started to consider moving around.”
Britta: “That was my idea! Just kidding. Well actually, no, it was my idea!”
Ronnie: “Yeah, it was! Because I’d never even been to a festival before and then my first was with the salmon döner. A festival called Hurricane here in Germany.”
Britta: “But I’d been going to Punk rock festivals for ten years before that point and I just love the festival atmosphere. Step by step we grew to a place where we knew what we were doing and we were a proper business. We went to Christmas markets and things like that while we were still experimenting with our food.”
Ronnie: “That took a long time. Two years, and we’ve been doing it for three because it just takes that long for something to grow from an idea into a finished version. That idea came from Britta mostly.”
Britta: “We both created this, based on the fact that we’re both really creative and really intelligent..! That’s true, but really I mean… we’re just passionate about this. It’s in both of our hearts. I love festivals and I’ve been fishing for one and a half years and Ronnie has been fishing for… 25 years?”
Ronnie: “Right, 25 years, mostly in Brandenburg which is the area surrounding Berlin that we live in. The biggest fish I ever caught was a catfish that weighed 75kg.”
Britta: “But I’ve actually caught an even bigger one than that.”
Ronnie: “That’s true, yes.”
Britta: “So after we knew that we felt passionate about this, we had about three months of planning and experimenting before getting started.”
Ronnie: “I went to a business consultant for four solid days. She gave us really good advice on how to structure the business as well as all the necessary stuff like proper hygiene practices and things like that. Then we had to look into what fish made the most sense in terms of flavour but also the way that the kebab itself holds structure. One of the first forms we had was the layers of salmon with octopus in between to help the fish to stay in shape. The problem with octopus was that it was too hard when carving the fish. Eventually, we figured that the best thing to use is whole pepper in between the fish, which makes the structure stable.”
Britta: “That’s one of the things that makes this uniquely ours. No-one else is really doing it. All we’ve heard about is one vendor in Australia which a customer brought to our attention. But I still don’t think it’s the same thing as what we have. The reason we travel to festivals rather than setting up a permanent restaurant is for the same reason — our kebab is a totally unique experience and it’s something that people look forward to. It was always going to be a food truck and not a restaurant. If you have a restaurant, people can access it all the time and they might get bored by it, but we’re at festivals, April-September and that’s it.”
Ronnie: “And that works. In 2015 at Hurricane Festival, the queue one day was almost a kilometre and people were still waiting for their salmon kebab! We’re learning a lot from that though and we’ve got much faster.”
Britta: “That’s key if you’re catering festivals. Rule one: you’ve got to be fast. Salmon kebab, fresh salad and our honey mustard sauce. That’s all we need to serve an amazing meal. There’s no need to overcomplicate the menu.”
Ronnie: “When we’re not at festivals, through the offseason, we take the time to prepare the food truck, take care of our garden and go on vacation. Half a year of work, half a year of spare time. That’s the life for us.
If you’re also visiting a festival this year, you will almost definitely see all of these people there.