Many people have changed careers during lockdown, but Gerald Warrack, 30, has performed more of a u-turn than most.
He’s gone from senior creative director at Edinburgh’s Cheynes Hairdressing, to starting a business, Sando, which creates Japanese style sando, or sandwiches.
They’ll be popping up for the first time, serving their sannies from the hatch at Punjabi street food restaurant, Sabzi at 162 Ferry Road, on Wednesday November 3, from 4-8pm.
“The idea came about during lockdown when I was furloughed from my job,” says Warrack. “During that time I played around with different recipes and learnt to make all sorts of stuff. One was shokupan - a Japanese style milk bread. Having eaten a katsu sando the year before, when on holiday in LA, I decided to give one a go for dinner and the idea sort of struck me from there”.
While juggling the new food business with his return to the salon, the plan is to do a few more pop-ups, then potentially look for a residency after that.
As well as creating the logo of a pig wearing a hachimaki headband, he’s been working on the food list over the last six months, and has a repertoire that should sustain him for a while. For his debut, there will be a classic tonkatsu (pork) sando, a miso sweet potato sando for the vegetarians and a spectacular looking fillet steak version. They all come with house made pickles and cabbage slaw and his own tonkatsu sauce, and you can add seasoned fries topped with an optional katsu curry sauce to the mix.
If you want to try any of his creations, no bookings are required, just turn up and be prepared to queue.
After all, Warrack thinks that sandos have the potential to go down very well in Scotland.
“I think it’s a food trend of the future and something that is pretty well aligned with the Scottish palate. I mean who doesn’t like some deep fried meat/veg in between two pillowy soft slices of white bread? Taking these fairly western ideas and adding some Japanese flavours and techniques is something that I think sets sando apart from the rest”.