Healthy eating on the go at Chaud Café Vite
Photo: Alina Doodnath
Although we're being pushed to focus on healthy eating, it seems as if people have less time than ever to prepare nutritious meals.
Seeing a growing demand for healthier, fast-paced meal options, co-owner of Chaud and Chaud Café, Alison Mair-Pascal, alongside award-winning chef Khalid Mohammed, launched Chaud Café Vite - a Café featuring freshly prepared, sustainably sourced meals for busy people on the go.
Located conveniently around the Queen's Park Savannah at 11-13 Victoria Avenue, the Café is a convenient stop for working folk and tourists alike.
“We noticed that people are always busy, they’re pressed for time but they still want to eat healthy and nutritious meals. So that’s where the idea for Chaud Café Vite came in.”
Indeed, customers can choose from a salad bar or buffet, the daily menu or sandwiches and soups, just to name a few.
The restaurant has also taken care to have a range of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options for people with different dietary requirements.
“The menu here is so varied that some people do get a bit confused when trying it for the first time. We wanted to ensure that there’s something for everyone.”
Although healthy food is the focus, there’s always room for dessert, with two pastry chefs at the site serving delicious fresh pastries daily, which don’t last very long as customers often snap them up.
Mair-Pascal said the switch to a faster-paced eating experience is challenging but exciting.
“It’s been a definite switch from what we’ve known before, going from a la carte to fast dining. We’re excited about it, it’s a different way of serving while still maintaining that standard that Chaud is known for.”
Customers demanding healthier options
Since opening, Mair-Pascal said she has seen a definite effort by customers to be more aware of what they eat and how it’s sourced.
“People are becoming more and more interested not in just how their food tastes but how nutritious it is, how it’s made and where it was sourced. And it’s not just young people, across the board, everyone is on a drive toward ‘clean eating’.
(Photo: Gluten-free blondies on sale at Chaud Café Vite. Photo by Alina Doodnath.)
“I think people are aware that health issues are not something you can put off but something you need to focus on every day, and with our menu options it’s not difficult to find something that’s both delicious and healthy,” she said.
The menu also tries to keep all dietary requirements in mind, for example using agave in salad dressings instead of honey for vegan customers.
One of the brand’s main mandates is to continuously strive toward nutritious and sustainably sourced food, focusing on local suppliers as much as possible.
“We’ve always focused on sustainability (with flagship restaurant Chaud and Chaud Café) and Chaud Café Vite is no exception.”
“I’d say just over half of our fresh produce is locally sourced and we’re constantly trying to expand that,” she said.
The restaurant also practices composting for all of its food waste and offers compostable packaging and utensils.
Mair-Pascal said the only items sold which are still served in plastic containers would be water and coconut water bottles, but they have written to those companies asking for a switch over to glass bottles and said they will continue to try to become more sustainable.
(Photo: The Café has two pastry chefs who serve fresh pastries daily. Photo by Alina Doodnath.)
“Restaurants have huge footprints in terms of waste and it’s our responsibility to be more ethical in the way we operate. I think the government also has a part to play, as well as the customer. We all have to take charge of the way we consume and produce waste,” she said.
The company also encourages customers to bring their reusable containers for drinks and food.
“We’ve had quite a few regulars come with their reusable containers which is great, it means less waste, which is always a good thing.”
Mair-Pascal said the Café intends to keep to their mandate of delicious, sustainably sourced food and to try to minimise waste as much as possible.
Customers can either sit in or take away as the venue has outdoor seating, and parking is also available at Albion Plaza or Cummins Lane.
The Café is also open from as early as 6.30 am until 5.00 pm, from Monday to Saturday.
For more information or to see their menu, check them out on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/chaudcafevite/