After a stressful six months or so of getting the building blocks of Cin Cin ready – van, name, logo, design, fit out, suppliers, online presence, PR – we were finally ready to launch in mid summer so on 13 July 2013, Cin Cin served its first guests at a small reception in Hove. Hosted by the lovely Debs and Johnny of Boston & Boston fashion accessories, we served up a sample menu of antipasti and Prosecco in the afternoon sun.
Our first ever menu included meaty treats of Calabrese spicy salami on ‘music paper’ crispbread with crema di pecorino, Mortadella cubes on skewers with Caperberries, Prosciutto Sardo skewers with Pecorino Rosso and Martini olives and Grissini wrapped with Speck. We also had Provolone Semistagionato served with lemon marmalade, Caprese on Ligurian bread, Pecorino Rosso with pitted black olives and roasted peppers and Arancini Parmigiano as non meat options. It was a highly tense but rewarding experience, the fear coursing through your veins as you hand up the first platter of antipasti to go out to the hungry crowds replaced by the elation to see it quickly come back completely empty apart from positive feedback! A truly wonderful day and the culmination of months of sleepless nights.
Our first public appearance followed two weeks later at Street Diner which had become THE street food market in Brighton. This was even more harrowing as people would (hopefully) PAY for my food and drink. Terrifying! For this event, we switched the menu from antipasti finger food to boxes of fresh Italian style summer salads, served with fine cured meats and cheeses. We had Insalata Calabrese (new potatoes, spicy Salame Piccante, oregano, spring onions & olive oil), Pasta Genovese (Fusilli, pesto, pine nuts, sunblushed tomatoes & roasted peppers), Caprese (vine tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, fresh pesto & basil), Siciliana (fennel, orange, lemon dressing, white balsamic & mint) and Lombardia (Bresaola, mixed leaves, radicchio, caperberries & balsamic) – all available with our Arancini and olives. We were up and running.
Returning to Street Diner at the end of August, we tweaked the boxes a little to start with a base of rocket, balsamic, seeds, stuffed peppers, fresh fig and crispbreads; giving customers the choice of Italian cheeses (Gorgonzola, Taleggio and Pecorino), meats Coppa, Finocchiona and Salami Piccante; or both. Libby chipped in too with her baking skills on display have made Madeleines with lemon curd and raspberries as well as Lemon Polenta cake with orange mascarpone. It was another fine day out and a great experience working with the van to get used to its logistics and capabilities.