DERIVED from Lucius Lucullus, a Roman General in 1BC. who became renowned for his lavish feasts and banquets, Lucullan means lavish or luxurious.

Deciding to follow in Lucius’s footsteps, Paula Frankie Shawyer, 52, opened her very own Lucullan’s food van.

Meat-free meals

Lucullan’s offers a wide selection of vegetarian, vegan and gluten free dishes.

Paula said: “I love cooking and am self-taught, having provided healthy food for the family all my life.

“I have been vegetarian since my teens, purely out of choice and a sensitivity to animal welfare.

“I think when I was younger, my dad was convinced it was just a phase!

“Luckily the availability of options has increased making it easy to enjoy fantastically tasty meals and desserts with ease.

“I have always aimed to offer alternative recipes for traditional meals such as my cottage pie, which looks, smalls and tastes like any other cottage pie.

“I love seeing the look of astonishment on people’s faces when they are told its not meat. But vegetarians and vegans can rest assured that their food is being cooked in a meat free environment.”

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Career change

Paula has always loved cooking for her family but hasn’t always worked in catering.

She worked in care and then in high street store management, until she decided to take the plunge and open Lucullans.

She wanted to enjoy cooking again, rather than being too tired from work.

Paula said: “I knew cooking for the public would be a learning curve but have found myself learning so much more than that.

“I have learnt how to set up a new business. I am now the chef, the art director, head of PR and marketing, accounts manager and so much more.”

Lucullans opened on July 26 2019, so it is a fairly new business, but Paula admitted that she is getting great feedback and repeat custom in Taunton.

Eventually, she would love to do more events and festivals during the weekends as well as her regular spot at the Texaco garage on Wellington Road in Taunton.

Paula would also like to employ a bigger team to help her at busy events.

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Exciting menu 

In the evenings, Paula offers homemade vegetarian options including Mexican bean burgers and falafel burgers as well as her favourite meat alternatives – Quorn chicken bites, the no bull beet burger, chorizo style sausages and vegetarian hot dogs.

These are all served with breads, salads and chips.

Gluten free options are also on the menu at Lucullans, with a gluten free macaroni cheese or a falafel burger.

Paula added: “We also do a Rogan Josh full of fresh vegetables – peppers, mushrooms and more.

“I believe a colourful plate is a healthy plate.

“My favourite dish is probably the gluten free macaroni cheese.

“To be honest, I prefer gluten-free macaroni, it is softer and nicer.

“My macaroni cheese also comes with mushrooms, peppers and onions too.

“It is healthier, and it is so important to be kind to the planet and kind to yourself.

“I am always open to suggestions and feedback so if my customers want something a certain way, I am happy to try and cater for that.

“I have always strived for professional high standards and that’s what I will offer.

“So pop down to Lucullans at the Texaco garage one night this week and give us a try.”

For more information about Lucullans Luscious Kitchen email or call 07393547902.