Isabel Garrido opened her food trailer for friends on
Saturday night before today's opening. Photo by Christina
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
Every day she will serve up two options - a meat dish and a
''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.