Ethical plant-based fast food? Yes, indeedy. Lord Of The Fries is here to serve you, to serve the planet and to serve your taste buds. In 2016, Baksho and Bruce Craig were on route to Bali when volcanic activity grounded them in Melbourne. While there, Bruce, a long-time vegan, and vegetarian Baksho, discovered Lord Of The Fries (LOTF), an Australian based plant-based fast food offering with a cult following. “We thought ‘wow, we’ve got to bring this to New Zealand’,” says Baksho.
Landing In New Zealand
Bruce and Baksho delivered LOTF to Kiwis over two years ago, first openingin downtown Auckland, and the quickly adding stores on K’Road, Wellington’s Cuba Street and Brecon Street in Queenstown.
A Family Affair
The couple’s three children all pitched in. “They’ve all made burgers and painted walls at LOTF,” says Baksho. Pippa, 26, and Bella, 24, now live in London, but 15-year-old Lauchie is a LOTF regular.
The ‘Famous’ Menu
LOTF fries are — appropriately – famous and their award-winning burgers, hot dogs, fried chicken, and onion rings also rank highly. They’re made in 100 percent meat-free kitchens using mock beef patties, fakin’ bacon, and chick’n, or phish topped with fresh trimmings such as cheese, lettuce, tomato and onion, along with tangy pickles, mustard, ketchup and their 12 dipping sauces including the LOTF ‘favourite’ Parisian garlic aioli mayo.
“We use ingredients made from pea protein, beetroot extract, mushroom and beetroot fibre, textured vegetable protein, and Angel Food supply our cheese. Recently we also added vegan corn dogs from the South Island,” says Baksho. “We cook in vegetable oil and our wedges are made the old fashioned way with the skins on. Our ‘chicken’ was featured in Metro magazine as one of the top 12 fried chicken choices in Auckland last year.”
The conventional-looking premium meat patties are made with Beyond Meat, whose investors include environmentalist heavyweights Leonardo DiCaprio and Bill Gates. Made from pea proteins and beetroot extract, they taste and look just like meat patties,but come without the high water and land use, effluent run off or the greenhouse emission created in the production of animal meat.
Naughty But Nice
“LOTF is based on the concept of food made with love, not animals,” says Baksho. “We also cater for low gluten, kosher and halal needs and we’ve just added a kids’ menu. I’m very proud of it because I don’t think there are any other ethical fast food menus for children.”
Baksho says LOTF is still naughty comfort food. “Our mission is not to change people’s eating habits, but to offer the same delicious foods with the added benefit of being plant-based.” And it’s proving popular with vegetarians, vegans, omnivores and flexitarians alike for its positive impact on the planet as much as its plant- based philosophy and great taste.
The Guardian in the UK recently reported: “avoiding meat and dairy products is the single biggest way to reduce your environmental impact on the planet”. Tim Lang, a professor of food policy says, “the world cannot go on producing meat at the rate it’s doing without destroying ecosystems. Something has to break – at the moment, it’s the planet.”
“We care a lot”
Baksho, who’s originally from the UK, has previously founded a number of successful ventures all with a community spirit. One was the annual fairy festival in Ellerslie. The Herald lauded her as an unsung hero and she also won a community service award from Rotary. Eighteen yearson it’s still going strong. “It was my way of teaching my children how to give,” says Baksho.
Then came Born, an organic mother and baby store in Remuera, which was awarded for its excellence in retail by Top Shop. “We had a lounge in the middle of the shop where people could sit and we held things like breastfeeding classes,” she says.
Making A Difference
Baksho also is a co-founder of Wisdom Windfall I, a project helping people live a life of purpose. “I’ve always been curious about what it is to be human,” says Baksho who’s a trained hypnotherapist, reiki master, and life coach. I believe we get stuck in limiting beliefs and I’ve developed a process to help us break through that.
“This is who I am, but it’s not just about me; it’s always about teams of beautiful people. We like to work with like-minded people who have the same vision. My dream is for LOTF to be involved in as many community projects as possible. My dream is for Lord of the Fries to become a household name around the world. We need to support the planet.”