Spice Club Roadshow: My Food, My Way

Spice Club Road Show

Spice Club Roadshow is all about authenticity.

From painstakingly hand crafted samosas, to innovative platters that allow you to sample multiple morsels of magnificence, Mandy’s vision is to showcase her food, her way. Her love for what she does is palpable and fuels her dedication to her craft. That means no cut corners and no stodgy curries, only rich flavours, inventive dishes and a van that stands out from the crowd. We sat down with Mandy to find out more about Spice Club Roadshow.

How did it all begin?

I’ve always been passionate about cooking but I never really did anything with that. I had my second child in 2018 and I was on maternity leave and at the thought of going back to my old job, I’d just had enough. I had a well-paid job but I just didn’t want to do it anymore and cooking has always been something I’ve enjoyed. I’m always the one hosting the parties and doing the food for the family. That’s where it started, but I’ll be honest, I didn’t have much support, everyone thought I was wasting my time.

How does this love of cooking manifest in your business?

A lot of vendors will go and buy their samosas from a shop and then sell them on. We don’t do that, everything is made by me. That’s really important to me because we’re invested in doing this properly. I’ve even damaged my shoulder from the repetitive strain of making samosas but I won’t stop because of the compliments that I get off the back of that hard work. I’m really invested in doing things authentically. It’s time consuming to make them, but when people compliment them, or want to know where I ‘got them from’ because they enjoyed them so much, it makes it all worth it. I could go to a shop and ask them to make me x amount for a week but I want to showcase what I’m doing. It’s my food, my way.

How do you ensure that your food is unique to you?

My mum taught me how to cook, I learnt it all from her and then what I started doing was putting a British twist on it.  She taught me how to make curries from scratch and  all of the meat curries are gluten free. I don’t put any butter in there, a lot of people think that Indian food is stodgy, but when you have our curries they don’t feel that way because they are made in olive oil. With olive oil, first of all it’s expensive to buy, butter would definitely be the cheaper option, but then that’s not gluten free or dairy free. There are a lot of things I try to do to keep the food clean because when you go to restaurants they can put a lot of flour in to make it thicker, but I don’t do any of that. I’m doing what my mum taught me and then I’ve literally just twisted it my way.

Is that what led you to offer things like curry and chips?

My husband and I went to an Indian restaurant, we were sat having a nice meal and literally every table around us had chips on the table. I know it sounds silly but that’s where it came from! I’m British myself but that’s not how I had ever traditionally had a curry, so when I saw other Brits having their curry with chips I thought to myself ‘hang on, that’s going to be a hit!’ That’s where it came from!

That’s a great marrying of those two culture isn’t it! Can you talk to me a bit more about your amazing van?

So I started in a 3×3 marquee because I was too scared by the van concept. It was a lot of money and I’d just left my job after maternity leave and we only really had one income. So I started in a 3×3 and it was going well, then covid decided to butt in. That was a struggle but we got through that. Then, because things started to pick up again when the events were opening again, we switched to a 6×4 marquee. I’ve actually had the van for years, I’ve had it ever since I started, but we just used to use it for taking all the marquee stuff and equipment around. Then last year we thought, ‘look it’s getting too much, we aren’t exactly spring chickens!’ so we sent it away and we had it done the way we wanted.

It’s an incredibly unique van with that graffiti style design.

That’s exactly what I wanted, if you look at our socials you’ll see when we first started, the look that we had was always about graffiti. It was only my face at first and I wanted this graffiti image. It was my sister who suggested I put my face on it, which I didn’t want to at first but we tried it, went with the graffiti look and it worked. Then when we were designing the van I used the same graffiti artist and I said to my husband that since he was in the business full time now he needed to get his face on there!  His face is spot on, he actually looks exactly like that! The vision that we had was for something as dramatic as possible. We wanted something dramatic and funky; something that would catch your eye. When we’re in a field we don’t want to be the vendor that blends in and I think we’ve done that!

Do you think that you would ever open a bricks and mortar premises?

Everyone asks us this question, even when we’re out in a field they’ll ask us if we have a restaurant that they can come to. A lot of people want us to push that way but if I’m honest I don’t want to do that. I enjoy going somewhere different every week, I love being in a field! I know that it’s horrible when it rains and believe me the amount of times we’ve been stuck in the mud and we’ve had to wait for tractors to pull us out has been horrible because you just think ‘god I want to go home!’ But I really enjoy being on the road I don’t want to stuck in a fixed site at all.

Finally, can you tell me a little bit about the amazing platters that you offer?

I’ve got to give full credit to my husband on this one. Our main dishes are a chicken curry, keema and a vegetarian option. We always serve chips and then you’ve got salad as well. My husband is a person who loves a little bit of everything. If you take him to a curry house he won’t just have one dish he wants bits of multiple things. So he was the one who came up with the concept and suggested that we try doing a platter. We had everything there already and it was just about finding a way to put it together so that people could try a little bit of everything. I’ll give him the credit for that one, it was his idea!

Keep an eye out for other Member Spotlights here and follow Spice Club Roadshow and their journey on Instagram and Facebook.

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