If you’re like me and can’t get enough of the vibrant and colorful flavours that make Mexican cuisine extremely palatable and enjoyable, then you’re going to love what chef Scott Mounsey of Tiki Taco will be bringing to the Gathered Design Market next month! With an exuberant sense of passion and dedication towards his food and traditional Mexican flavours, Tiki Taco will be showcasing a range of tacos, nachos, corn on the cob, and conchas (Mexican buttery breads with sweet toppings on offer), in addition to housing iced teas, and rainbow snow cones, to name a few!
With the upcoming Gathered Design Market in Hahndorf from December 13 – 15, 2019, I had a follow-up Q&A with Scott about his participation at the Market as a stall holder – have a read of our exchange below:
Tema: Can you please tell us a bit about yourself?
Scott: I am a qualified chef and have worked in some of South Australia’s finest restaurants. I have lived and traveled around the world and enjoy combining my passions of cooking with history, foraging, and culture.
Tema: What made you decide to open up your own business Tiki Taco?
Scott: I absolutely love Mexican and South American traditional food and wanted to be able to share this with South Australians. For many years, I have wanted to begin a food truck doing something personal – where I can connect with customers much more than what I would from a standard kitchen.
Tema: What attracted you to the idea of basing your business around Mexican cuisine in particular?
Scott: I have found that Australian Mexican does not include traditional flavours. I use traditional ingredients such as Achiote, make my own molé, make fresh tamales, conchas and handcrafted iced tea’s. I believe I am able to provide customers with the opportunity to try new dishes that taste great.
Tema: How did you decide on the range of dishes to offer to your customers via Tiki Taco?
Scott: The menu had to be a combination of recipes customers would be familiar with and some that are popular traditional in Mexico. My meat options are all high-grade, grass-fed, and slow cooked from my local butcher and my smoked beans are vegan.
Tema: What do hope for your customers to experience when eating from Tiki Taco?
Scott: I sincerely hope my customers thoroughly enjoy my food. Everything is made fresh from the highest quality ingredients, they are generous portions and are reasonably priced.
Tema: What inspires you to create your dishes – are the recipes homemade / are the recipes tapping into foods and/or flavours that you are particularly passionate about?
Scott: I am inspired by the Mexican/South American culture and finding traditional foods that appeal to customers that I can make fresh, colourful and taste amazing is the most exciting experience.
Tema: What do you think helps Tiki Taco stand out from the rest in the industry?
Scott: Tiki Taco stands out for many reasons! All dishes are made fresh and recipes are even posted across our social media. Tiki Taco not only rewards the carnivores but especially takes care of both vegans, vegetarians, GF and other dietary requirements. Tiki Taco is an eco-friendly business that refuses to serve any plastic and uses eco-friendly packaging.
Tema: What have you found rewarding about being a small-scale business in SA?
Scott: Being a small scale business means I have a close relationship with my business partners/suppliers and can control the quality of produce. I also have a great personal relationship with customers. As the chef, I also serve and get to talk about recipes to customers; being able to adapt and answer questions and listen to any feedback they may have for me and my dishes.
Tema: What have you found challenging about being a small-scale business in SA?
Scott: Being a small scale business means it can be difficult to keep up with the demand. This is my first year and customers have responded really well to my fresh food and diverse options, I have managed to get into events that are essentially too large for my capability, so I have had to re-invest in commercial-sized cooking equipment at home and take on extra staff to keep up with the demand.
Tema: What would you say is one of your most recommended dishes that your customers must try – especially if they are relatively new to Mexican cuisine?
Scott: Tamales are a famous Mexican street food. I serve vegetarian Tamales, which come with steamed savory corn cake inside a corn husk with beans, cabbage, & coriander served with homemade chili jam, pickled slaw, and organic corn chips.
Tema: What would you say is one of your most top-rated dishes that your customers must try – especially if they are relatively new to Mexican cuisine?
Scott: Its a tough choice between tacos and nachos. My tacos are soft flour tortillas with a choice of pulled beef brisket, achiote chicken, smoked beans (try 1 of each) served with molé & pickled slaw. The nachos are organic corn chips with a choice of the same ingredients smothered with home made hot cheese sauce, molé, pickled slaw and guacamole. Both are sure to please.
Tema: Where can one expect to see the Tiki Taco food truck make an appearance?
Scott: You will find Tiki Taco at events, markets, festivals, private catering, weddings and wherever people are having fun!
Tema: Where do you see Tiki Taco in the next 5 years?
Scott: In the next 5 years, Tiki Taco will have a much larger van – the current van will be a cocktail shaker for events operating as a tiki bar and Tiki Taco will also be operating as a bricks & mortar business.
Tema: How did you get involved with Gathered SA?
Scott: Gathered SA and Tiki Taco found each other as Tiki Taco has been gravitating towards quality and artisan markets defining its market. We’ll be at the Lobethal and White Christmas Hahndorf 2019 – our first (of hopefully many) experience(s) with Gathered SA!
Tema: How has the experience of being part of the Gathered SA family been like so far?
Scott: So far the experience is highly organised and all online impressions and word of mouth is very good.
You can visit Tiki Taco at the Gathered Design Market from December 13 – 15, 2019 from 4pm – 10pm at the Thiele House in Hahndorf. Entry to the market is free and there is plenty of free street parking available nearby.
With thanks to Jenna O’Dell from Gathered SA for the interview opportunity
Interview conducted by Fatema “Tema” Sitabkhan
Answers and images supplied by Scott Mounsey // Tiki Taco