Food outlet 7-year dream

Isabel Garrido opened her food trailer for friends on Saturday night before today's opening. Photo by Christina McDonald.
Isabel Garrido opened her food trailer for friends on Saturday night before today's opening. Photo by Christina McDonald.
Buoyant with happiness but also fighting fear, Isabel Garrido opened her South American food trailer ''El Merkaito'' on Monday after a seven-year dream of doing so.

Ms.Garrido came to New Zealand with the intention of earning money to return to Chile and open a food trailer.

Her plans changed when she ''fell in love with New Zealand''.

She has experience on her side, having worked as a chef in Chile, Peru, Brazil, and more locally in Tauranga, Wellington and Queenstown.

Every day she will serve up two options - a meat dish and a vegetarian dish.

''It [the menu options] will change every day and they [the customers] will always have something different and you don't have to think."

Other foods, such as empanadas and South American sandwiches and a dessert, will also be available.

Having worked in busy restaurants with various kitchen staff, waiters and management, she has no qualms about working alone, saying this was ''something that I need to do''.

''It's been a dream for so long - seven years."

She is also a keen artist and has relished the opportunity to ''mix art and food''.

The concrete space the food trailer occupies comes with an empty shop, which will become a low-key gallery. The walls are to be decorated with local art from anyone seeking a space to exhibit. There will be no fee for display.

The food trailer itself is also an outlet for creativity, featuring a black and white checked counter top and a brightly painted exterior.

In keeping with typical business hours, the trailer will be open 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.

Late night hours are being considered.

The trailer is located near the Shotover and Stanley Sts roundabout, just before Shotover St becomes Gorge Rd.