On The Road With The Black Cab Café

The Running on Empty team will be travelling across Dumfries & Galloway - and serving up delicious food wherever they go!

Hail a cab in Dumfries and Galloway during Spring Fling (which runs from May 23-25) and you might well end up with freshly smoked mackeral instead of a lift home!

Running On Empty is a mouthwateringly good idea involving a traditional black cab touring Dumfries and Galloway serving meals made with delicous local ingredients. However, this is no ordinary black cab – it’s been converted it to run on used cooking oil collected from fish and chip shops across the area and it has its own chef!

As part of Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink, Running on Empty will see catering duo Jade Norcross and Craig Middleton preparing everything in the black cab from a seaside barbeque at Port William to canapes and smoked mackerel lunches at Brydekirk.

‘Great food and drink made with lots of local ingredients’

Jade and Craig run Scrumptious, a café and bistro-style eatery in Dumfries and have spent weeks preparing menus and sourcing ingredients for Running on Empty. “We’re really looking forward to getting out there on the road and serving great food and drink made with lots of local ingredients,” said Jade.

““The idea of street food is really taking off across the country and we thought we’d bring it to Dumfries and Galloway in a novel and environmentally friendly way.”

‘Serving up superb food in some of the most beautiful spots in Dumfries and Galloway’

Running on Empty is part of Spring Fling, Scotland’s premier visual art and contemporary craft open studios event, which covers Dumfries and Galloway. “I’m sure our visitors will love the black cab café, complete with kitchen and chef, serving up superb food in some of the most beautiful spots in Dumfries and Galloway,” said Leah Black, Spring Fling Director.

“It’s also a fun way to get people thinking about sustainable fuel and transport.

“Just as importantly, we want to let people enjoy some of the wonderful ingredients that come from our region, and highlight how good it can be to make the most of local produce.”

‘We think of ourselves as ‘creative crofters’’

The cab was converted by artist David Ralston of Dumfries-based artist led organisation The Stove Network, who also collected the fuel from chip shops across the area.

“This project is a great example of the way people in the arts are all working together in Dumfries and Galloway,” said Matt Baker of The Stove Network. “We think of ourselves as ‘creative crofters’ – all adding our skills to group endeavours.”

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland Director of Events, added: “Running on Empty is a wonderful example of the clever, creative way in which artists and events can interact with 2015, Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink. Part of the fantastic Spring Fling, the taxi will give food and art lovers something else to look forward to as part of their visit to Dumfries at the end of the month.”


For lots more ideas about places to go, including food and drink events, pick up the latest issue of The Scots Magazine. In the shops now or order online by clicking here.

Menus & Venues

Lunch (12pm to 2pm), Stranraer, The Grainstore: Irish stew with soda bread £4; salad box £4; homemade lemonade £2; free popcorn bags & brownies

Barbeque (5pm to 7pm), Port William, near the studio of printmaker Lisa Hooper: burgers, sausages, chicken and vegetable sticks, fresh bread, marinated sweet corn, salads, rice, pasta and slaw as well as barbequed pineapple and bananas. £5pp

Brunch (11am to 1pm), Dalry, at the studio of photographers Morag Patterson and Ted Leeming: free fruit juice; French toast sticks with cinnamon or chocolate dipping sauce £3; melon slices (free); camp stove breakfast (bacon-wrapped sausage & baked beans topped with a poached egg with crusty bread) £4; packed lunch box £5

Late lunch (3pm to 5pm), Sanquhar, at the studio of jeweller Terri Campbell: homemade sherbet dips (free); DIY bruschetta £3pp; mini afternoon tea in a box £3; homemade mint tea (free)

Breakfast (10am to 11.30am), Eskdalemuir Community Hub, at the studio of furniture maker Pete Brown: porridge pots with a selection of toppings £2; free granola bar bites and orange juice; chorizo or mushroom and fried egg wraps with chilli sauce £3.50; cinnamon pastries £1.50

Lunch (1.30pm to 3.30pm), Brydekirk, at the studio of installation artist Katie Anderson and jeweller Joanne Garner: celebrate the end of Spring Fling with a glass of non-alcoholic raspberry fizz and canapes (free) featuring freshly-smoked mackerel