Barmy chilli takes to the road

A CHEF is today hoping his love of food, festivals and VW camper vans will provide the perfect recipe for business success.

A CHEF is today hoping his love of food, festivals and VW camper vans will provide the perfect recipe for business success.

Brian Bussell has launched a unique catering firm - Chilli Gone Barmy - providing quality food to festival goers from his rare 1964 splitscreen van.

The 42-year-old believes the distinctive vehicle is one of only a handful in the world still in working order and the last surviving van in the UK.

He said: “You don't see anything like it at festivals and I thought that was the way to go.”

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The van, which cost more than �15,000, was shipped over to the UK from America before its interior was painstakingly refurbished.

Mr Bussell said: “It's all my own money, I've saved very hard.

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“But the recession can actually be a good time to start for a small business.”

Mr Bussell has been involved in catering since an early age but it wasn't until he turned 40 that he decided to commit himself more fully to his chosen path and enrol on a programme at Suffolk New College.

He said: “It was very unusual for me, working with children aged 17 and 18, but we all worked together really well. I think they sort of looked up to me.”

Mr Bussell hopes Chilli Gone Barmy will offer a tasty alternative to the more traditional food on offer at festivals.

“I've been to a lot of festivals and I'm fed up of the bog-standard food there,” he said.

“I noticed that no-one did Mexican food and I thought that would be a good avenue to go down.”

Currently, the fledgling business is only a part time project - Mr Bussell also works as a chef at Bistro on the Quay on the Waterfront - but he hopes to soon be able to dedicate more time to the project.

Mr Bussell has already taken Chilli Gone Barmy to three car shows and the response has been positive.

He said: “I've had lots of good feedback. People are loving the food and obviously there's a great interest in the vehicle.”

His van will be in the courtyard at Isaac's Bar on June 28, at Music in the Park in Christchurch Park on July 5, at Woodbridge Regatta and Riverside Fair on July 12, and at the Gig in the Park in Halesworth on August 8 and 9. For more information see his website:

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