Seitan’s Kebab are a Manchester-based food vendor offering tasty, healthier plant-based alternatives to takeaway kebabs. You’ll often find them at our Village Screen events, so we thought we’d ask them a few questions about their street food pop up.
How did Seitan’s Kebab come about? What made you want to set up a mobile street food offering? The initial idea came about after a few beers (where all great ideas start) and naturally we craved a dirty kebab. At the time, Steph had just turned vegan and I (Matt) was veggie, so that same weekend we got to work on creating a vegan doner kebab. It took us a while to perfect the taste and texture, but after many attempts and different methods of producing the seitan, we finally had a product we were happy with and decided that Manchester needed such a vegan street food offering. The thought of having a portable kitchen where we can set up for tons of different events and meet lots of cool people was a huge appeal for us, we have a lot of fun doing what we do! What influences your style of cooking? A bit of everything really. We pride ourselves on offering a diverse menu that is forever changing; a few popular specials include our Jamaican Jerk “Beef” kebabs, Chinese Xinjiang kebabs and our latest Shawarma & Lebanese rice. World cuisine is really interesting to us, we love to experiment with unique flavours and challenge ourselves to veganise traditional dishes from just about everywhere. We actually started a blog, Planet Vegans, were we share our recipes: https://planetvegans.com/ What’s your signature dish? Our Doner kebab, hands down. We serve it open, the traditional way, on a Lebanese flatbread with a choice of fresh salads, pickles and a variety of sauces. We’ve had many repeat customers at our University site in Manchester who can’t get enough of it, and we regularly set up at GRUB, pubs and local breweries because let’s face it, beer and babs just go together! What’s the best meal you’ve ever had? There’s no way we could narrow it down to just one, so here’s four…
Toukoul - a proper fancy Ethiopian restaurant in Brussels, one of the best meals we’ve ever experienced.
Sanskruti - amazing veggie/vegan Indian restaurant, our go to for any celebration meal.
Vegan’s Prague - they served traditional Czech food, but all vegan. The food was so tasty, and we were recently engaged so we have fond memories of that place!
Zad’s - the best vegan pizza in Manchester, hands down.
What’s been your most challenging experience as a food vendor? We were booked to do a private event at Manchester Airport where we had to make 200 kebabs in 2 hours - challenge accepted we thought. Until we arrived, and a main piece of our equipment, which we had just purchased brand new, wouldn’t even switch on. Safe to say it was a stressful experience cooking them on the fly whilst hundreds of people queued and watched, but hey, we got the job done in just under 2.5 hours - better late than never! What do people not know about being a food vendor that they should know? It can be pretty expensive to get going, with all the equipment, stock, insurance and training that’s initially involved - but we’d recommend reaching out to other traders for advice, we did exactly that and were overwhelmed with how nice and helpful the street food community is. You’ll make tons of new pals, meet lots of interesting people and never go hungry at events, it’s all about those food swaps! How are you ethical / how are you being more environmentally friendly in your practices? With our food being 100% vegan, it’s as ethical as a meal gets really. We only use compostable and biodegradable packaging and whenever we have any leftover food, we donate it to a local homeless charity to minimise any waste. What’s been your favourite Village Screen event to work on? The Valentine’s Day event at Victoria Baths was mint. We had a huge queue the whole time which kept us busy, and all the customers we chatted to were lovely, as they always are at Village Screen events! What is your favourite film? Matt - Four Lions. Steph - One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest What is your favourite cinema snack / food? Sweet and Salty Popcorn, every time.