By Harry Kane
Some people like fresh food, and that’s where the Gypsy cooks of Cuisine en Locale come into play. This Somerville pop up food business was founded six yeas ago by JJ Gonson and originally was based out of Cambridge, but three months ago they relocated to Somerville.
Cuisine en Locale gets their food from local farmers and delivers to residents of Somerville, Cambridge and Boston Proper once a week.
“I’m a chef so I care about how things taste,” Gonson says. “They taste best when they’re fresher, and when they’re picked right and when they’re grown in smaller batches and when fields are rotated. I’m a mom so I’m worried about nutrition. There’s no question that there’s more nutrition in food that is fresher and not transported from afar, and picked when it’s supposed to be picked.”
The cooks cater one night culinary events like the recent “Once in Valhalla” feast held in the Armory back on Jan 21.
Angie Gaimari, director of operations at Cuisine en Locale handles media relations, menu cooking and the production side. “We don’t have a restaurant, we do use this kitchen at 201 Somerville Ave. as our home base.”
“They are referred to as gypsy cooks, Gaimari says. “We’ll cook in the back of a truck; we’ll cook in a woodshop, in someone’s apartment. We do the same things that other catering companies do but we also do these just for the sake of having a food event. We’ll go on location the same way that a band would go on tour.”
Their steady gig involves weekly shipments of delicious local foods to local residents. Every week the cooks come up with innovative creative menus, making both omnivore and lacto/ovo Vegevore options.
Cuisine en Locale receives shipments on Fridays or Saturdays from the local farmers. “Sometimes they deliver to us,” Gaimari says. “On a typical Monday we come up with a menu and there is usually a team of four of us in the kitchen. We put together on average four main dishes and four side dishes. They will be packaged up,pbut into bags and delivered by bicycle.”
Omnivore has been around for a year and Vegevore is new. Vegevore foods are prepared on Wednesdays and delivered on Thursdays.
In the morning metro petal power comes and takes the foods that are going locally and rides them to their destinations. The bicyclists leave the foods based on instructions from the customer, like ringing the doorbell or leaving them in the cooler on the back porch. Metro Petal Power delivers up to an eight-mile radius. For $125 the recipients get a week’s worth of cooked food made with all local ingredients.
“It’s very popular for people that are too busy to cook, like new mothers or really busy college students. Anyone that wants good healthy food and wants to support the local economy,” Gaimari says.
On average 19-30 people order once a week, according to Gaimari.
“We have our customer base but there are a lot of people that I don’t think know what we do. People who don’t know won’t be able to benefit from it. A lot of professionals, especially single people or parents,” Gaimari says.
More information can be found at Cuisineenlocale.com.