Pop-up restaurants, food trucks, and street food vendors are the biggest rage at the moment – and appear to be an easy way to make a quick buck, but, like any restaurant, you need your wits about you when it comes to managing expenses and creating crowd-pleasing dishes that keep people coming back for more!
JoziStyle interviewed Nero and Joaquim Rodrigues, owners of the very popular Nero Durban Style Curry food market popup, about their secrets to creating a successful (and delicious!) food market pop-up!
Q. How would you describe your style of cooking? What inspires you?
A: I am very passionate in the kitchen, my style of cooking is never to be disturbed I am focused and remain consistent, I received this inspiration from my mum and grandma at a tender age of 7 years old, when I first starting cooking a baked beans curry which by the way was a hit and a total wipeout!
Q: Describe a typical day cooking for markets?
A: The alarm goes off, and you literally crawl out of bed @ 4am from the time you wake up until approximately two hours later, you’re busy going over everything, this involves downright draining and exhausting, a typical example, On a Sunday market I start prepping from Saturday afternoon from about 2pm and ends Sunday 7pm, indeed a lot of work and thought goes into this.
Q: What have been your proudest moments as a cook?
A: Definitely seeing people actually buying my food from me and coming back with positive remarks such as: the best bunny chow, and the most delicious curry ever in South Africa! Having followers on my page brings so much joy to me, by the way, this was discovered by my dearest husband that I would do well in the food industry, never did I think it would do this well!
Q: What has been your biggest learning curve starting this business?
A: Definitely not to overspend, not over cater, as a lot of food gets wasted, bearing in mind it’s important to also understand the feet that is attending the market, to monitor this on Social media, and this gives us an idea of how much food should be cooked.
Q. What are your favourite ingredients? And, 1 ingredient that we will never find in your kitchen?
A: My homemade masala (Some secret spices in this!)
You’ll never find a boxed pre-mixed butter chicken – I don’t do pre-mixed! Everything is made fresh and homemade.
Q. What is your favourite dish that you enjoy cooking?
A: I do not have a favourite, but if I had to choose it would definitely be my DELICIOUS Lamb curry of which I perfected
Q: Six people (dead or alive) who you would like to cook for?
A: Ina Garten, Michael Symon, Ree Drummond, Sunny Anderson, Geoffrey Zakarian, and Alex Guarnaschelli – I watch them on the cooking channels every day! And they inspire me so much with their technique and presentation, and this is also where I get my ideas
Q. The #1 thing that annoys you in restaurants?
A: Customer service, being rude, unfriendly, serving me cold food.
Q. Any final thoughts you’d like to share?
A: It would be my greatest joy to open up a restaurant, serving ONLY the best, quality assured! But I guess we all start bottom up but ready to get this going.
If you’re craving an authentic Durban-style curry, visit Nero Durban Style Curry on any of these days:
3rd of May is Bedford Night Market from 5PM-11PM
5th of May is Sylvia’s Day Market from 10AM-4PM
12th of May is Sylvia’s Day Market from 10AM-4PM
19th of May is Sylvia’s Day Market from 10AM-4PM
Visit Nero Durban Style Curry.