Part-timing on foodie hobbies.

It’s a pretty well established fact that, now I’m in my 40s I’m realising that I spend too little time on my hobbies. By which I mean there’s a lot of hobbies and I’m spending a tiny amount of time on many of them, not that I’m not spending enough time on stuff that isn’t work. The corollary to this is that I know – and I’m comfortable with this – that I’m never going to become a virtuoso saw player, or a star baker, or a sub 4hr marathon runner. I’m never going to be an artist who sells their work in galleries, that sort of thing. That’s fine, to be honest; I don’t want a hobby to become a job.


Saying that, I made a new friend recently who has just started his own pop-up food business. And I’m looking at what he’s selling and how he’s selling it and thinking “just once, maybe I should give this a go.” Sat at the back of my head is this little demon saying all kinds of really unhelpful things like “the EHO won’t be round for 12 months” and “you won’t be employing anybody else so ELI won’t be a thing”. Here’s the thing, though: if I do it, I have to do it properly. A registered kitchen – although not necessarily mine, just one I’ve rented for a day. Public liability insurance. I already have a level 2 food safety/hygiene certificate somewhere, so that’s ok. A plan, a site, a boatload of maths and ballpark spreadsheets and probably some new kit because making 40 tarts when you only have 4 tart cases will get tiresome very quickly. For one trip out with a trestle table and a couple of boxes of edibles.

When I say “a couple of boxes” I do mean something more than that. Or a couple of quite big boxes. There’s an pretty good idea kicking around as to what to make for this sort of thing: portable, hand-held, uncomplicated (veggie) food. “Sturdy” could be quite a good description, although that’s probably not ideal for a menu. But a starter, main, dessert and amuse gueule & petit-fours to bookend could be a pretty good plan. Five items, from £1 to £5 each. I could throw together boxes of salads – my salads are mighty – for people who want something with their pie.

The stall’s name would be Jamais Le Plaid Lapin, because I wear neither checked shirts (plaid) nor facial hair (hare) and something would involve jam. Clearly my linguistic puns are terrible and I do like to mock people’s fashion choices. But the tartan bunny is a nice logo idea.

All pie in the sky, of course.

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