FAM Kitchen makes vegan dishes in Sarasota’s Rosemary neighborhood


FAM Kitchen, a food trailer setting up shop in the Rosemary neighborhood, takes comfort food and spills it with a 100% plant-based, health-friendly menu. The truck’s name has a double meaning, according to owner and chef Laetitia Kepecz.

“The name FAM means ‘food as medicine’, but also ‘family’,” says Kepecz. “Every time you put something in your body, you have a choice to make. You can choose something that’s going to benefit you or something that’s not. I want people to think, ‘What is does this do for my body?’ every time they eat.

The South African-born chef’s journey to embrace a plant-based diet began about five or six years ago.

“I started looking at how animals are treated these days,” Kepecz explains. “It’s like a production line. I worked as a catering manager at a senior living center for a few years. This experience definitely opened my eyes to the importance of food for clarity of mind and how focusing on your diet can affect your overall health.

Healthy eating can be exciting and colorful and make your taste buds dance with joy. This aspect of Kepecz’s cooking is one she attributes to her training in classic French cooking. “When you train the classic way, they really focus on the flavors — what you can put together to complement each other and what will show up when you cook it a certain way,” she says. “These aspects of my training that definitely help me every day.”

If you’re having trouble deciding what to order from FAM’s menu, consider opting for the current fan favorite: the tempeh bacon-based Forever Summer BLT. Tempeh consists of whole, fermented soybeans that have been formed into a block. It has a richer flavor and more texture than tofu. Slices of smoked tomatoes, red onions, an avocado spread and a vegan garlic and herb mayonnaise are then piled on two slices of sprouted grain bread.

Not your style? Try to choose the chef’s favorite, the portobella cast iron.

“It contains mushrooms, spinach, smoked tofu and swiss,” says Kepecz. “It’s all piled on slices of marbled rye. It’s a really good, simple little sandwich.” Other items on the menu include a breakfast bowl, Buffalo ranch wrap and grilled Reuben.

For those with busy schedules or who prefer to spend their time away from the kitchen, FAM also offers prepared meals available for pickup or delivery.

FAM Kitchen moves to 1331 10th St., Sarasota. For more information, call (941) 445-7125 or visit the trailer site.

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Tanya S. Norvell