A COLCHESTER chef has painstakingly created his own mobile food truck inspired by and named after his late mum.

Andrew Dawson has launched Maria’s Kitchen inside an old catering truck which he has been converting outside his Monkwick home for six months.

Now up and running, the business has been selling gourmet burgers at Colchester market and will be expanding further into the events market across north Essex.

Andrew, 34, said: “Back in November 2019 my mum suddenly passed away.

“I have been a chef for 15 years and I have always wanted to have my own business.

“After she died I came up with the idea of creating my own food truck and calling it Maria’s Kitchen in her honour.”

Gazette: Tasty - Andrew Dawson, dog Bud and Dave Harris outside the Maria's Kitchen food truck

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With the help of girlfriend Jaden and pooch Bud, who he bought for his mum before her death, Andrew has documented the painstaking restoration project on the Maria’s Kitchen Instagram page, showing the truck’s journey from a dilapidated vehicle to a state-of-the-art mobile kitchen.

He has pumped £15,000 into setting up the business, using his inheritance from late mum Maria.

“I have used all of the money mum had left me to get it off the ground,” Andrew said.

“She was a single mum who raised me and my two sisters whilst working full time.

“She taught me lots in the kitchen and also how you have to work hard for the things you want in life.

Gazette: Dilapidated - Andrew Dawson spent months converting the food truck

“I hope she would be proud seeing her name on the side of the truck.”

The refit has seen everything except the shell of the truck replaced, including the fitting of new gas and electrics.

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Andrew added: “Everyone on the estate has been watching it grow into what it is now.

“I’ve had so much support from people in Monkwick.

“We’ve got a few events booked and hopefully word of mouth will spread as we do more.”

Ward councillor Dave Harris cut the ribbon on the finished food truck, which is now on the road and available for hire.

Find out more by searching @marias_kitchen_catering on Instagram.