Kent Live and Folkestone Herald were kind enough to publish an interview with Sister Seitan.
You can check it out here:
A new restaurant specialising in vegan dishes has opened in Folkestone town centre and owners say it’s already turning meat eaters’ heads.
Sister Seitan, on Rendezvouz Street, officially opened on June 2, bringing indulgent, protein loaded and affordable food to the Folkestone masses.
The vegan eatery began in a tiny home kitchen experimenting with seitan – a completely natural, chewy protein-rich food made from wheat gluten, used in cooking as a meat substitute.
Co-owner Renata Brightman, 35, began by feeding the ‘fake meat’ to her meat eater friends and neighbours – who instantly ‘went crazy’ for it.
She then joined forces with Samantha Fairclough, 34, after meeting her at events on Folkestone’s vegan food scene.
Dating back to the sixth century, the pair say seitan is great for people looking for a more sustainable and tasty alternative to meat, or who are transitioning to veganism as powerful flavours and familiar textures are easily achieved in the cooking process.
It even contains more protein than meat itself, with 75g in each 100g serving – which could be why it’s so popular among meat lovers.
Ren said: “Due to the fantastic reactions, I did a pop up in the middle of winter and it surprisingly sold out, as did the next one and the one after that.
“We found each other through mutual friends on the thriving Folkestone vegan scene and teamed up soon after. With Sam's experience and expertise in the field, we were able to quickly find our niche and work towards making our burgers as flavourful and delicious as we could.
“Over the last six months Sister Seitan has worked very hard in and out of the kitchen and word has spread through social media, so the movement towards our own space has been a logical progression.”
The duo has been looking for a permanent home for their business since the beginning of 2018 and were approached by 13CC to take over the ground floor cafe of 10 Rendezvous Street.
“The location is perfect,” Sam said.
“Cosy without being too small, in a busy Folketone thoroughfare and has outdoor seating for afternoon lounging in the sun - what more could we ask for?”
While Ren added it wasn’t just the location grabbing peoples’ attention, with curious carnivores trying out the menu for themselves – and being surprised by how much they loved the food.
She commented: “The reaction from everyone so far has been ‘I'm not vegan but that was a fantastic burger’ – but those aren't mutually exclusive things.
“Even this Sunday just gone, a lady commented that she brought along her parents who reluctantly tried half a Seitan doner kebab, and as they enjoyed the flavour so much they ordered another one each.
“It feels good when people love our food, as we put so much effort into it. It's wonderful hearing that ‘yum’ moment when people eat in, which is why we are adamant on making as much as possible from scratch.
“When you order a Sister Seitan burger, we have made the buns, the mayonnaise, the seitan, and the cheese sauce - we don't have the space to currently grow our own lettuce, and cucumbers to pickle, nor to milk the soybeans, but hey, perhaps that's a goal for the future.”
While many people from all over the world will continue to flock to London for the vast number and variety of vegan options, Ren and Sam take pride in the growing vegan scene in both Folkestone and wider Kent.
“The growth of the Vegan food scene in Kent is inspiring,” Ren said.
“We are seeing more and more instances of weekend or holiday 'gastronomic travel' to Folkestone, Canterbury and Margate.
“We were recently selling our burgers at the Kent Vegan Festival and were absolutely gobsmacked by the sheer amount of attendees, the diversity of ages, cultures, tastes and by the amount of stallholders offering vegan-friendly goods and services.
“And the Folkestone food scene itself is very exciting and is always diversifying. It's wonderful to see local people supporting local businesses.”
Sister Seitan is open seven days a week for breakfast and lunch with the view of opening into the evenings during the Summer Holidays.
You can find out more about Sister Seitan on their website or Facebook page . Alternatively you can follow them on Instagram and Twitter @sisterseitan.