A taste of South America comes to the top of the South
The authentic flavours of South America are now available on the Picton foreshore.
Mobile food truck La Ruca has opened on a prime spot at the water's edge. But before owner-operators Daniela Arcos and Sebastian Rocha could follow their dreams, they had to quit their jobs.
"We decided to quit our jobs last week and do this fulltime," Rocha says.
"We've been running the food truck part-time for three years, but now we want to give it everything we've got. And also enjoy our beautiful working environment here."
The couple have been professional chefs both in New Zealand, and in their native Chile for 15 years now. For the past eight years they have called Marlborough home. They started the food truck four years ago and have been managing their business part-time, while working in wineries.
"Now we wanna do something different, something we love, and something for the people," Arcos says. "We are both chefs, and this is our passion. You have to do what you love."
The pair arrived in the North Island on a working holiday visa nine years ago, but it was Marlborough they fell in love with.
"Because look at this," Arcos says with her arms outstretched towards the water. "It's beautiful! It's perfect for us."
The two are from Santiago, Chile and they say that it was the lifestyle that attracted them to New Zealand
"Santiago is a very busy city. Here is quiet, the people are nice, everyone is super friendly. Then we got a holiday working visa and so we tried it out, and we fell in love with New Zealand," Arcos says.
"And we have a boat so we can take it out in the Sounds," she smiles.
The pair serve up authentic Chilean street food, including chacareros, a Chilean sandwich made with thinly sliced churrasco-style steak, on a round roll with tomatoes, mayo, and green beans or avocado.
"We have the authentic Chilean sandwich that you eat in the street that is everywhere in Chile. And they are good for when you have been to party and are hungry," Rocha says.
They also serve up Chilean-style empanadas, a stuffed and fried bread or pastry
"We also have bacon egg and cheese sandwiches. But we always try to convince people to try an authentic Chilean sandwich."
While La Ruca are on the foreshore from Wednesday to Friday, they will also be present at a few festivals around Marlborough during summer; they humbly admit to taking out the coveted food and wine matching competition at the Marlborough Wine and Food Festival two years in a row.
But right now the pair are gearing up for what should be a busy summer on the Picton foreshore.
"We found this spot here and we thought 'it's perfect'," Arcos says. "What more could you ask for?"
La Ruca can be found on the foreshore from Wednesday to Sunday, 11am to 7pm.
- The Marlborough Express