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The Art of Cooking on the Road
The team at KEA knows a thing or two about the trade off between great adventure and dull food...
Words and Images by: KEA

On road travelling is all about adventure, excitement and new experiences, but sometimes the wandering spirit is curbed by an unadventurous travel diet. If the words hard, cold, bland or boring come to mind when you think of your self-drive cooking routine then you’re not alone. The team at KEA knows a thing or two about the trade off between great adventure and dull food.

Some may think that greasy roadhouse food or baked beans on toast are the only option for on-road dining, but we call that a lack of imagination! And, if you’re the one flipping sausages on an overworked BBQ, we predict you’ll soon find snags aren’t as appealing as they were in the early days of your trip.

Let’s face it; the convenience of eating out - while enjoyable - can become hugely expensive when you do it every night. The only option is to open up your RV kitchen and cook up a storm.

Our experienced team at KEA has come up with five easy tips to help get your cooking adventure underway.

Get familiar with the region

Some of the most fresh and affordableingredients can be sourced from local farmers’ markets. Regional food heroes are everywhere, it’s just a matter of keeping your eyes and ears open as markets may operate on a select day each month. Simply jump online to do a minute or two of research or ask the locals.

Make the most of seafood if you’re on the coast, or organic vegetables and fruits if you’re in the country. You might find it’s good for more than just your hip pocket.

Taking an interest in local produce also provides an opportunity to learn from the local residents - it’s a great conversation starter and can lead to a helpful travelling relationship. Conversations with farmers or small business owners also provide the perfect opportunity to find out local ‘best kept’ secrets.

Add a bit of home

A long time spent on the road can, at times, leave even the most adventurous spirit craving a bit of familiarity. It’s surprising just how much difference a  comforting smell or taste can make when times start to get tough. Many of your favourite at home recipes can be tweaked just a little to work in an on the road environment, it’s just a matter of adaption and experimentation. We suggest that you try a family favourite or classic dish in your campervan – just make sure you pack your herb and spice collection.

Keep it simple

The golden rule, respect the space; KEA campervans for example are designed for ultimate kitchen manageability, with maximum storage space and minimum clutter. Local produce is most often best served with minimal preparation - don’t worry too much if your serving seems simple; the fresh, organic produce will speak for itself.

Think ahead

Unfortunately, fast food outlets are often all too convenient after a long day of driving. We’re all guilty of a quick and easy stop off to the dark side! But if you do the research and plan your meals ahead it will save time and money.

Avoid buying food for more than two to three days’ worth of meals. There’s nothing worse than spending cash on  yummy bits and pieces if you’re just going to have to throw them out.

Keep a good stock of staple ingredients and basic non-perishable items (your pastas and cereals) and complement them with fresh goodies along the way. It’s a good idea to plan a rough menu of meals before you leave to ensure you have access to the ingredients and utensils you may need. But remember, half the fun is that plans can always be changed if you stumble across some local produce that you want to include.

Know your gear

Prepare for your journey by packing a comprehensive kit of kitchen utensils. Keep them organised and bear them in mind when you’re planning your meals. You never know when that corkscrew, lemon juicer or egg ring may come in handy and it is better to be prepared. Don’t forget the zip-lock bags for easy leftover storage too.

By following these tips, keeping the kitchen space relaxed and having some fun along the way, your on the road cooking experience could prove to be more than just a necessity.

Happy adventure eating!

Tags: Cooking Preparation Travel BBQ Camp Kitchen
Category: Features
Written: Sat 01 Jun 2013
Printed: June, 2013
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