8/09/2012 01:43:00 PM

A Day in the Life: Shrimpy Balfour - Cofounder of Rainbo Street Food Van

In the first of a new series, we spend a day in the life of Shrimpy Balfour, cofounder of Rainbo. The writer-turned-street food trader recently launched a food truck business with boyfriend Ben Sheinwald serving homemade gyoza dumplings out of a 1948 Ford Pickup at festivals, markets and events around town.

6-7 AM: Street food invariably begins with an early start. I naturally find these tough so I rely on Ben to pull the duvet off and get me up. I try to squeeze in a quick yoga session before getting down to the kitchen. The morning is always busy with vast amounts of vegetables and ingredients to prep and lots of packaging and extras to remember. There isn't usually time to think about what to wear, so I grab whatever is nearest and get to work.


7-8 AM: I drink two cups of coffee, help Ben load the van and we head off to whatever market or event we are working that day.

9 AM: On site Ben takes the manly role and goes in search of power and water while I clean the counters and make sure everything is in its proper place. I catch up with other traders to see who has been where and eaten what and then realise I forgot breakfast and go in search of something yummy from a local bakery or deli.

10 AM: Back in the van we check the signs are out and looking good and then put the hatch up.

11 AM-3 PM: The next few hours are a blur of gyoza and money and dipping sauce, and by the time the market ends we are worn out but exhilarated having made new friends and fed lots of hungry mouths.

4 PM: Having spent all day at the griddle, Ben expires in a hot, tired heap and I whizz through the washing up and cleaning eager to get home and unpacked.

5-8 PM: Back home we pour a glass of wine and procrastinate over the final round of washing up. I write a quick post for the blog while Ben throws something together for supper and once we have finally sat down we find it almost impossible to move.

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