Cooking up a storm in the back of a campervan

by Emma Lourie

Friday, October 16th, 2020

How the Gastrotour grew from an idea to a city-wide foodie success

Food and Drink PR photography Jerba Gastrotour success graphic

NORTH BERWICK based Jerba Campervans embarked on a ‘Gastrotour’ of Scotland in a bid to get the country’s finest chefs and restaurateurs cooking up a storm in the back of one of its bespoke VW Transporter conversions.

The Gastrotour idea came from a creative internal brainstorm by the team, with the aim of developing an idea to increase sales and awareness of the Jerba brand.

One main theme during the brainstorm was to get people involved in the operations and how the campervan actually worked – hoping they would ‘buy’ into the idea of how good it was, to then actually want to take one for a spin.

When HPR presented the ‘Gastrotour’ to the team at Jerba they instantly loved the idea and were keen to learn how it could be implemented and carried out.

At this point, we went back to the drawing board and planned the full campaign which involved developing the Gastrotour idea and logistics.

We then reached out to various top Edinburgh chefs to gauge their interest in the campaign – with many coming back to us delighted with the opportunity to work with Jerba.

Adding to the success of the campaign, we secured a partnership with The Scotsman Food and Drink who ran a short press release to accompany every video. This helped share the Gastrotour with foodies around the country who recognise outstanding talent, and people who might be interested in the campervans.

The videos were uploaded to Jerba and Holyrood PR’s YouTube and social channels to further the reach of the campaign.

Food and Drink PR photography Jerba Gastrotour van in front of the bridges

Fast forward a month or two…

The campervan began visiting chefs near the location of their acclaimed venues, challenging them to create simple, inspiring dishes using just the Jerba’s in-built hob or hot-plate, which can be easily replicated at home or on the road.

A stylish ingredient list, along with step-by-step video and instructions provided by all chefs, ensured the method was easily replicable at home.

With the on-screen walkthrough and chef interaction, the video is incomparable to a written recipe shared on social.

The episodes also offer a glimpse inside the bespoke campervans, each unique and adaptable to suit the needs of any customer.

The first stop was at Maison Bleue with top chef, Dean Gassabi who cooked up a delicious Giant Cous Fruits De Mer dish. Dean highlighted how lucky Scottish based chefs are to have amazing produce at their fingertips and was surprised just how well the dish came together in the back of the campervan.

Watch here:

The next to take on the challenge was Mark Greenaway, outside his restaurant Grazing at the Waldorf Astoria.

Mark cooked up a baby roast chicken, accompanied by roasted hazelnuts, cauliflower and roasted potatoes, using only local Scottish ingredients.

As highlighted in the video below, Mark taught our viewers how easy it is to produce restaurant-quality cuisine without the need for an industrial kitchen.

Watch here:

The third chef to accept the challenge, Maciek Szymik of Edinburgh’s New Chapter, stepped up to create a wonderful recipe for Hand dived scallops with black pudding, cep mushrooms, chive buerre blanc, quails egg and black truffle. Maciek made a point of using local produce which worked a treat on the jerba hob.

Watch here:

The fourth chef was Roman Labat, of South Queensferry café and bistro, Down The Hatch, which has become hugely popular with its insta-worthy North American influenced food, made with the finest Scottish ingredients.

He recreated its famed Philly Cheesesteak, using Orkney mature cheddar, rump steak and spices from Inverurie-based Angus & Oink.

Watch here:

The concept has been successful at engaging with a number of chefs to demonstrate what is possible, both to owners of Jerba vans – and foodies across the country on the lookout for dishes by their favourite chefs that are both tasty and easy to do at home.

We crafted, planned and executive this amazing idea (which the team are exceptionally proud and pleased to have worked on) to really showcase the Jerba Campervan in all its glory and, at the same time, shining a light on the amazing Scottish produce we have readily available.

Through video, we were able to showcase top Edinburgh chef’s skills and the endless culinary opportunities that come with cooking in a campervan.

The uncertainty of how the chefs would respond to being taken out of the comfort and familiarity of their professional kitchens, was swiftly forgotten as the cooking began as it proved to be a brilliant concept – and the end product is testament to the chefs’ talents.

With the current Covid-19 travel restrictions, there has been an increase in people taking to traveling the length and breadth of Scotland in campervan.

Holyrood PR is confident the Gastrotour can give those a little inspiration and guidance on how to cook high quality, tasty meals on the road.

Can you guess where the Gastrotour will stop next?

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    Emma Lourie is an Account Executive at Edinburgh Public Relations agency, Holyrood PR in Scotland

    Emma Lourie

    Account Executive, Emma Lourie, is a part of the award-winning PR agency, Holyrood PR - based in Edinburgh, Scotland.

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