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Caterer Spotlight: Toastie

Toastiefest was envisaged way back when Lucy worked on her dad’s stall at Glastonbury in the 90s. Scouring Glastonbury for a taste of home – a toastie and a brew, Lucy felt disheartened at the lack of variety on offer. Festival catering has of course come a long way since then, though Lucy could never shake the idea that plying muddy, tired festivalgoers with a taste of home was her calling. We spoke with Lucy after her first festival season in almost two years to discuss all things Toastiefest.

“Be brave, be creative and have fun!”

Hi Lucy, thanks for talking to us today. First things first – your food looks incredible. Can you tell us what your favourite thing on the menu is?

“Some like it hot” is my favourite toastie! I love spicy food, so this one with mature cheddar, chorizo and jalapenos is my go-to.

That sounds delicious! Now obviously the last year has been far from normal. What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced during this time?

Not working has been by far the biggest challenge. So many of my friends in the industry have been able to adapt their businesses, but TOASTIE only belongs in the field, so we closed shop and I got a temporary job delivering food. We did what we had to do to survive.

We’re so glad you made it through and you’re back to doing what you love. What would be your advice to potential caterers reading this and thinking ‘I’d love to give that a go, but I don’t know where to begin’?

My advice first and foremost would be to choose your product wisely; make sure you’ve attended as many festivals and events as possible prior to setting up, so that you know what else is out there. But also, be brave, be creative and have fun.

“NCASS provided me with everything I needed and took away all the stress”

Great advice. Talking of events, which would you say has been your favourite thus far?

There have been so many great ones that it’s hard to choose, but I would probably say Standon Calling. Not only is it local – I live in the same village, but it’s just a fantastic festival with a great atmosphere, great food, and incredible music (check out the cow shed) and a lovely audience to boot.

Have there been any challenging events which stick out in your mind?

Yes, there have been a few but they’ve all been overcome which is the main thing! Standon Calling this summer was my first event back post pandemic and my first in almost two years. That would be daunting enough, but on the Sunday afternoon, a storm hit us, and four inches of rain fell in ten minutes, flooding our back of house. The organisers swiftly told us to pull the power and our igloo floated out of the back kitchen. We had to think quickly, as you always do as a mobile caterer, slit my awning with a knife as it was collapsing in the rain, patch it up with gaffa tape and put a pole in the middle of the awning on an upside-down metal bin; we then had to make a new tee pee awning to get us through the rest of the season. It’s all part of the job!

That’s such a good – and I think probably necessary attitude to have as a mobile caterer! Do you have any sustainability practices?

Yes, we’re really hot on recycling, we use minimal plastic and only use paper and cardboard and environmentally friendly cleaning products – it all helps.

And finally, what would you say has been the most helpful aspect of NCASS membership for Toastiefest?

I love that I can update my food hygiene courses online easily and this summer, the C documents were so helpful in giving what I needed to get back into work – NCASS provided me with everything I needed and took away all the stress.

Thanks so much, Lucy. To see more from Toastiefest, head to:

www.toastiefest.co.uk

www.instagram.com/toastiefest/

twitter.com/toastiefest

www.facebook.com/toastiefest


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