Two sisters, one vintage ’67 camper, a love of cooking, and the open road.
Meet chefs Kandyce and Kristyn of Ramblin’ Rose, a traveling pop-up cafe. They began in 2012 and have had a consistent presence at various farmers’ markets, concerts, and street fairs. Most recently they have been hosting private camp-fire cookouts throughout the wild west. Based in Utah, these two gals travel the great western roads, Rose in tow, to bring natural cooking and easy entertaining to the great outdoors. Last week, we met them under the vast desert sky in Moab, Utah.
Ramblin’ Rose graciously fed the group of twenty FP Me customers for our most recent FP Me escape, Utah Unplugged. While all of our cell phones laid silent and shut off in our teepees, chatter and laughter filled the air. Our dinner started with a summer shandy — hefeweizen paired with house lemonade and fresh camomile — or sparkling water, the exact thing we needed after a long day of hiking in the sun. Then the march of foods began. Plates of heirloom tomato and opal basil salad, wild greens, and dutch-oven jalepeno and huckleberry cornbread began to be passed around the long table. Eyes widened and mouths watered. Then came local beer-battered zucchini, fire roasted eggplant, roasted garlic and corn grits, and fire grilled spring onion with an almond red pepper dip. Delicious is not a word strong enough to describe their cooking… we were speechless. Our dinner ended with dutch oven whisky plum and blackberry pudding, cooked in the fire pit, as we all sat around the campfire. A perfect way to end the perfect dinner.
Get to know the two talented women behind Ramblin’ Rose Cafe in an exclusive interview below!
Ramblin’ Rose Cafe is from “out west” — an idea I love! Where are you based and where do you travel to for events?
When we bought our trailer, Rose, in 2012, it was our way to have a creative outlet without being sure of where we wanted to be. We love to experience a variety of beautiful places and being mobile allowed us to be located wherever we felt inspired to be. Due to her age (circa 1967) we keep our travels in the west.
Where did you grow up? How has it shaped who you are today?
We grew up in Southern California and spent a lot of time at the beach, being in the sun and swimming in the ocean. We always had a cooler full of our favorite foods. Being outdoors never kept us from making baguette sandwiches loaded with fresh California veggies or bringing homemade guac and chips to keep us fueled for the day. We feel food has always tasted that much better outdoors.
What is the inspiration behind Ramblin’ Rose Cafe?
We love good food and the best food is always what’s in season, where you are. Food comes from the earth, cooking and eating outdoors keeps that connection close. Another major source of inspiration were our grandparents. They were farmers; gardeners, one grandpa a cabin builder, the other a carpenter. One of our grandmas was a flower breeder and the other a painter. Both were passionate cooks, who did much with little by cooking straight from the garden.
Favorite Ramblin’ Rose Cafe memory?
We’re sisters, the time spent together and the memories that make us laugh, make us almost throw in the towel or the moments we have been insanely proud of our work is what we will remember most when it’s all over.
I love camping but am not the most seasoned cook — what do you recommend cooking over an open fire for a novice like me?
Wrapping vegetables in tin foil & throwing them near some embers for a slow and low veggie roast is a simple way to highlight what’s in season. You can roast a sweet potato or a red onion and dip it in bbq sauce or an herby yogurt sauce.
Oh, nice! What about… best tip regarding open fire cooking?
Cooking on a fire is best done low and slow. Meaning you’ll want to cook on the embers you get from a fire that has been going for a while. They will give you a consistent heat source and be easier to manage.
If you could only bring five food items on a camping trip what would they be and why?
“Bread & water can easily be tea & toast.” We love that phrase because it simply fits our approach to food. Good quality ingredients need little work to become something magical. Good sourdough bread, a can of organic butter beans, a lemon, tea and dark chocolate are must haves for our camping trips. Food provides a level of comfort, so bring some of your favorite things that take little energy to prepare. Sometimes we go all out if that’s our mood but other times we want to just relax, savor the fire and be under the stars. Our go-to outdoor meal is beans on toast.
What is your favorite dish to make? Do you mind sharing the recipe with us?
We toast some good sourdough bread, slather it with some Irish butter, heat up butter beans, give it a squeeze of lemon, pinch of cayenne and salt. Sometimes we add sliced summer tomatoes, some wild greens or buttery avocado. It’s substantial and totally comforting to us. That’s what matters, stay true to what you love most. A hot cuppa’ rooibos tea and some dark chocolate is deeply satisfying and always a must to bring.
What do you love most about cooking in the great outdoors?