Back to living in North London. Doing two of my favourite things. Cooking and eating.
Wednesday, 14 October 2009
We have been out here in Colombia for 4 months now. When we first arrived we kinda had a plan for what we were going to do, which was to open a small place, only serve meals at lunchtime, something relaxing. But as we have found the rents here in this area are very very high.
We found one place, that was very popular in the mid 90’s, so we called the agency and was told the rent was 800,000 pesos a month, about £250. One day we were passing and dropped in to look at the place. We met the owner, had a look around. It was the perfect size, about 10 tables inside and out. Small kitchen, but large enough for what we were planning. Now, I seem to have this power here. I am able to increase the price of anything, just by my presence. He saw me and increased it by 200,000 pesos a month. It was a shame at the time, but I’m kinda glad he did it. The reason is, the zone we live in is really only busy on Friday evenings to Sunday afternoons, or Monday afternoons if it is a long weekend. The rest of the week the area is very very quiet. So you only have 3 days a week in which to make a ¼ of your monthly profit. Hard work. If it is raining, then you are buggered as no one comes up here. So for that I’m glad he was greedy. 4 months later the place still isn’t rented.
The other plan we had, was to cook for people in their homes. The original menu I had to scrap as the majority of the ingredients I couldn’t get, or if you could it was not a regular thing and they were very expensive. So we put together a second menu, using ingredients I could get hold of regularly. We however got a little side tracked. I made a few chutneys to go with the homemade charcuterie plate I devised. A tomato de arbol (look it up) and a mango chutney. These, some people tried and really liked, and wanted to buy. So we made some more and more. Then we made some different ones.
We then made some empanadas in the Argentinean style. These are slightly different from the empanadas they sell here, which either contain minced beef or chicken (or the lack of). Ours are from Cordoba. They contain minced beef, cooked with spices and onions. Then assembled with boiled egg, sultanas and green olives. Very delicious I can tell you.
These sold really well.
So I thought I’d go a bit Middle East, and made some hummus, falafel and pita bread. These starting selling well also, but all on a small scale. Mainly, as we live outside the city in a small house with a very, very small oven. So large scale isn’t going to happen here.
We were then put in contact with a friend of a friend who runs a business making food for cocktail parties, office meetings etc etc.
So we are now supplying her with some bits 3 times a week for office meetings or refrigerios.
It’s becoming obvious that where we are living isn’t working properly. As I said earlier we are living in a small house, 45 minutes outside the city, with a very small oven. So if we want to expand, we have to do two things.
1. Move into the city.
2. Buy a proper oven.
These cost about 500,000 pesos (£150). So not too expensive, and it will pay for its self after a short time. So that is not the problem.
I am so enjoying living here, even with my moaning. But do I want to live here for the long term. Prob not. But as I always say, We’ll see….