Meet the Owner: Jay Gulliver, Jay’s Kitchen

Moving from farmer's markets, public events and private celebrations, the food truck Jay's Kitchen is all about burgers crafted with love, stripped back to the basics.

Born and raised in the United Kingdom, where Jay Gulliver began his training as a chef, he worked across a range of places, including high-end hotels, gastro pubs and restaurants, before landing a role as Head Chef at a fresh food gastro pub.

In 2016, he travelled to New Zealand with his partner and fell in love with the country. Since then, Jay has moved permanently to the country - buying his first home and starting up his food truck, Jay's Kitchen, which has given him the flexibility and work-life balance he's always dreamed of.

Jay's Kitchen prioritises using only in-season and the freshest ingredients from local suppliers. He finds that working with others in the industry who also share a passion for what they do ensures that he always gets the best ingredients.

As a result, Jay's Kitchen burgers are simple but packed with flavour.

"If you buy the best ingredients, half the work is already done."

Jay is also environmentally conscious and has plans to pivot his offerings to be more sustainable.

'Climate change will play a big part in how food is produced in the near future and therefore how we eat. Focusing on food options that are sustainable is essential for us all."

However, as Jay's Kitchen was created just three months before the pandemic, running a food truck has come with its challenges. For Jay, doing plenty of research and talking to people in the food truck business was essential to his success.

"You have to wear many hats, it's not just about rocking up to an event with lots of food to sell. You need to be on top of every aspect of running a business - from tax, to advertising and everything in between."

Given the many facets of running a food truck business, he also notes that it can be more efficient to outsource help when necessary.

'If there's something you really can't do, it's probably going to be cheaper in the long run to pay someone to do it for you."

Jay is proud that he has been able to get through the last couple of years and is optimistic about the near future, particularly in creating more innovations with how he operates.

Looking forward, Jay hopes to build a larger truck to expend his food menu and explore other locations outside Auckland.