A CHEF who who has been running a food van during the second lockdown said he has been “blown away” by its success.

Masterchef winner Kenny Tutt, who runs Pitch restaurant in Worthing, set up Tutt’s Street Food Truck on the town’s seafront towards the end of the summer.

The truck has been based in Ferringham Lane, Ferring, throughout the November lockdown.

Kenny said it was luck he had already been planning to have a mobile food van before the pandemic hit.

He said: “We wanted to do this even before coronavirus existed.

“I’ve done a lot of food festivals all around the country and I love the idea of being able to do British-inspired street food.

“My parents were market traders – that’s how I fell in love with the food world.

The Argus:

“We bought this vintage truck that we found in France and it was being refurbished when coronavirus struck.

“Over the past few weeks we’ve had a queue round the block, which is just unbelievable. I was blown away by the uptake.”

Tutt’s Truck offers a seasonal menu with hot food and drinks, including wild boar sausages and mash, cheesy chips and a herb chicken dish served with new potatoes, as well as vegetarian options.

Kenny said one of the most popular takeaways at the truck is his High Steaks roll – an aged sirloin beef steak with cheddar cheese, mustard and mayonnaise, served in a bap from the Flour Pot Bakery.

He said: “The whole village has been so warm to having someone there doing quality food.

“Especially with this lockdown, it’s nice for people to be able to go for a walk and grab a hot chocolate while they get out of the house.

“Our hot chocolate is actually molten chocolate, which you can have with rum or Baileys.

“Our savoury doughnuts are also really popular, which are made with goats cheese and truffle honey.”

Kenny had originally planned to only open the street food truck during the current lockdown, but has decided to keep it open every weekend as it has been so popular.

The Argus: Kenny Tutt, who won Masterchef in 2018Kenny Tutt, who won Masterchef in 2018

He said: “It’s been hard work running the truck but also really fun. I’ve been designing the menu and I have a team who absolutely love it.

“It means we’ve been able to diversify during this crisis and have kept going.

“We have actually named the truck Édith after Édith Piaf, as it came from France and she sang about having no regrets.”

During an exceptionally tough year for the hospitality industry, Kenny said the biggest challenge has been the uncertainty posed by the pandemic and ongoing restrictions.

He said: “There’s nothing more difficult than the not knowing.

“Restaurants have lots of moving parts and you really get into a flow when you’re open.

“When you suddenly have to stop you have to un-stock. Effectively you reopen as if it was the first time, each time.

“It’s exhausting as you’re always running around just trying to keep it all going.

“But the community has been so positive and understanding... you do see the best in people.

“I think without their support, a lot more businesses would have fallen by the wayside.”

Kenny, who was the winner of hit BBC show Masterchef in 2018, opened his first restaurant in Worthing, his home town, last year.

Pitch in Warwick Street offers a mix of modern and classic British food, wines and cocktails with locally sourced ingredients and a changing seasonal menu.

During the pandemic Kenny also launched Pitch at Home, so customers can make Masterchef-quality dishes themselves with simple recipe boxes.

Kenny said: “Our finish at home boxes have been really popular.

The Argus: Kenny cooking one of the meals on offer through his Pitch at Home schemeKenny cooking one of the meals on offer through his Pitch at Home scheme

“All the side dishes are ready made. Most of the ingredients for our main dishes are pre-prepared and you just have to put it in the oven. We also include instructions on how to cook, plate and finish the meal.

“I think people are really keen to get behind something that’s local. It’s so important going forward to support your local businesses.”

Pitch at Home options include a three-course Côte de boeuf meal kit and a three-course vegetarian meal kit.

Customers can order meal boxes online at pitchrestaurant.co.uk.

Pitch is also taking bookings for dates after the current lockdown ends on Wednesday.

Tutt’s Truck is open from 4.30pm until 7.30pm today and from 1pm to 7pm every Saturday and Sunday.

Visit kennytutt.co.uk/tuttsstreetfood to find out more.