AN Italian chef living in Scotland has launched a new gourmet food truck after moving here in 2014.

Gemma Costa (below), originally from Naples, launched Fancy Brunchy last month, after she and her wife identified a gap in the market for lovingly prepared vegan options during their eating-out experiences.

The Italian has called Edinburgh her home for almost a decade now, and she spoke with The National about her time living here as well as what people can expect from her food truck.

“I started cooking when I was about eight years old and I did a pastry course, but my love for it really comes from my mother,” she says.

The National: Gemma Costa moved here in 2014Gemma Costa moved here in 2014 (Image: Fancy Brunchy)

“She was always experimental and trying new recipes and where I’ve come from in the south of Italy loves its food, so it comes from my culture as well.”

Costa worked in hospitality in Naples, although admits that she gradually grew tired of the industry and was looking for a fresh start.

Her sister, who also works as a chef, had already moved to Scotland and told her of how she enjoyed her time here.

“Back home it wasn’t just about the pay, although that wasn’t good enough,” Costa says.

“I was working 70-hour weeks for £600 a month so it really wasn’t good. I couldn’t create a life for myself and I didn’t feel there was any respect for people in hospitality.

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“My sister moved here first and she told me she had found a good work-life balance and that she was on a fair salary.”

Incidentally, Costa’s brother also moved to Scotland to work as a chef.

Moving to Scotland

Costa says she originally only planned to move to Scotland for a couple of years. During her time here though, she met Marta Negro, from Madrid, who is now her wife and partner in the food truck business.

She explained: “When I first moved here I stayed in a hostel for six months. My sister worked in a café and they gave me a trial shift and I started working with the head chef who taught me everything from back then.

“I met Marta six years ago and we fell in love and started living together after two weeks. She is the one who helped make this food truck stuff happen.

The National: Vegan haggis is one of the dishes on offerVegan haggis is one of the dishes on offer (Image: Fancy Brunchy)

“Without her it wouldn’t have been possible. She’s the best project manager in the world.”

Creating the food truck

Fancy Brunchy actually wasn’t supposed to be a food truck with Costa initially trying to open her own restaurant with her brother and another partner.

“We faced the reality of needing a big budget and it just wasn’t possible but I really wanted to have my own business,” she says.

Things didn’t get any easier either, with the pair losing a £5000 deposit due to a scam.

“I lost so much motivation but we kept going and decided to invest in a food truck for the long-term.

“We managed to secure a loan and went to Manchester to buy the van which arrived a month and a half ago.

“We officially opened on October 18.”

The National:

The truck serves a variety of food from “loaded wee pancakes” to mushroom and truffle toast to sweeter options including chocolate and lemon and cinnamon (above) pancake stacks.

It will be stationed at the Edinburgh Street Food event at the Omni Centre on November 4, 5, 17, 18 and 19 as well as December 9, 10, 16 and 17.

The full menu can be viewed HERE.