Written by Jane Cottam. You can meet Jane and taste her delicious food at The SeaSalt Catering at Lancaster’s Midsummer Market on 14 June. 

My journey into the culinary world began with a passion for creating beautifully crafted gifts and delicious cakes. Over the years, I found immense joy in seeing the smiles my creations brought to people’s faces. However, as much as I loved baking, I felt a growing desire to explore new culinary horizons and share a more diverse range of flavours with my community. This desire led me to transition from making gifts and cakes to preparing hot food for the local markets.

This decision was inspired by my love for diverse cuisines and the rich, aromatic dishes I grew up enjoying. I wanted to bring the warmth and comfort of home-cooked meals to the market, offering something that could be enjoyed on the spot, bringing immediate satisfaction to my customers. Each dish I prepare is a blend of traditional recipes and personal touches, influenced by a variety of culinary traditions and my travels.

One of the main inspirations for my cooking is the vibrant street food culture found in many parts of the world. Street food has a unique way of capturing the essence of a place and its people, offering a taste of authenticity and local flavour. I strive to recreate that experience in my market stall, serving dishes that are not only delicious but also tell a story. Whether it’s a spicy curry or a comforting stew reminiscent of my grandmother’s kitchen, each dish is crafted with love and a sense of connection to its origins.

Selling at the local markets has been an incredibly rewarding experience. The market community is full of passionate and dedicated individuals, all working towards the common goal of bringing quality, local products to the people of Lancaster. I’ve met so many wonderful customers who appreciate the effort and care that goes into each meal I prepare. Their feedback and support encourage me to keep experimenting and improving my offerings.

The markets have also provided a platform for me to share my story and connect with fellow market stall owners. This collaboration has opened up new opportunities and has fostered a sense of camaraderie that I deeply cherish. The shared experience of setting up our stalls, braving the elements, and engaging with customers has created a strong sense of community and mutual support.

Looking ahead, I am excited to continue this journey, bringing new and exciting dishes to the market and pushing the boundaries of my culinary skills. I hope to see you at the next market, where we can share in the joy of good food and great company.

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