Professional Chefs move into Van to Expand their Culinary Horizons
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Professional Chefs move into Van to Expand their Culinary Horizons

Hey, I’m Eric. I’m from France. Hello, I’m Lise. I’m half Danish half American and this is Marcel, our van. In January 2016 we decided that we
wanted to go and visit farmers. We had been teaching cooking classes. Eric for
about five years and me for about three years. We’re both cooks and we’ve worked in a lot of Michelin-starred restaurants and
we’ve always wanted to learn more about the products so we started contacting
farmers and asking them if we could come and visit and that’s how our journey
started. We didn’t know nothing about van and what to look for what to purchase so
just by looking at the website we realized that a good van good value good
quality in one week it’s gone. So the day we found Marcel we called directly. We said, “we’re coming.” We realized that outfitted Sprinter vans
or old Westfalias wouldn’t really work for us. He’s almost 2 meters tall and we
also wanted something with a shower and a toilet inside the van so that we
wouldn’t have to feel like we were imposing. We wanted to be
self-sustainable so that’s why a camping car works really well for us. This is Marcel our van. Marcel is a Peugeot J5 from 1990 also an Hymer which is a German brand for all the sleeping and living
area in the back. It’s a 2.5 liter diesel. It has zero
turbo. Not going the fastest in the world but if you don’t need a turbo you don’t want a turbo. Careful, you’re going to travel in time. BAM. Here’s the battery for vehicle but not the living area, we have another battery for that. We have the spare wheel of course. This used to
be an engine actually for an XM Citroen which was a very very reliable car back
in the day. Only 2.4 10 tonnes and you can load it up to 3 tons is like 15
meter 63 long 222 large and a bit higher than me. We have the gas, it’s
propane. It’s about 30 euros. In the winter we’ve already passed through a
bottle like this every month, everything runs on gas, but for the summer has been
like more than almost like three months. If you have kids or you don’t want to
open the whole door you can do this. If you need and you’re not tall like me we
have the VIP entrance with a little step just here that folds in. We have a little
contact so we know if we forget it as soon as we drive. In the bumper we have
all the hose to fit the water that is actually just over here. We have a
hundred liters of clean water and grey water tank which is also a 100 liter we
can last at least a week. Set up for the bikes to be honest with you we don’t
really have time to bike that much so we put them away for the moment. It’s a chemical toilet but can put a copper solution and you don’t have to put all those chemical
things inside. Every space is used in the camper or in a van so we just pull that
out, empty, and clean it and put it back. In the proper areas. Don’t be like dirty people
because then you give us a bad reputation and we cannot park anywhere
anymore. The hot water exhaust. Everything
is on gas so you need all the burned gas to get out. That’s whenever we need to be
plugged somewhere. Here we have access to a little compartment that we can also
access from the inside. Things we really need the most like a frisbee, the cable
to plug everything, triangles just in case of emergency,
winter things. That’s for the gas. Also the first owner add those securities. He
got robbed the one time they tried to get in the van so he decided to add a
lot of those which are actually very convenient you just turn like this and
you have an extra little security for your van. Inside here I have the
batteries for the inside. We don’t have like two batteries. We don’t have solar
panels. We drive a lot and we don’t really need those. Figure out really what
you need to charge your phones and put like USB things. If you need to charge
your computers go to a coffee shop. I mean then it depends on your budget and
whatever you want to do. This used to be carpet all over. We decide to redo all
this in wood. It was supposed to be a cheap wood but the carpenter told us,
“well actually, I have spare oak.” And we have a little compartment like this for me
also on the tablets and on the other side over there. That’s where you can put
all the isolations that you need to put on the windows and everything, gives a
lot of space. We also have little island compartments here where we have extra things we can put. It’s a good old-fashioned European shift stick. This
one is next to the wheel very very fancy speakers as well that you can put
outside. We decided to go visit producers and
document that. Try to work with them. They’re pretty much the stars. If a product is
good all you need is salt and pepper. You don’t need to be a great chef. A lot of
Michelin-starred kitchens are using really good base products. Because
they’re already working with farmers and artisanal producers that create these
amazing products it facilitates the whole process and it’s really a
community that gains the Michelin star. They’re very generous with their time,
with their knowledge. They open their house. We meet their families. They come in the van, have lunch. We’re cooks and everyone has cooked for us. They work
with these products every single day so they have all of these tips and tricks
on how to get the best result out of their product. The methods that they’re
using are traditional methods that people have been using for hundreds of
years and they’re including new technologies and traditional methods of
production. Welcome to inside of Marcel. Here is its belly. The stove is connected to the gas bottles which are outside. It’s a double burner so we can
actually cook quite a lot on here and for two cooks in one van it works out
quite well. A Dometic fridge. It can be plugged in on
battery or on gas. The little security switch here and the temperature. We’ve
got lots of veggies and alcohol that we made in Corsica. It’s orange liqueur. All of our utensils lots of knives micro-planes, peelers. Again we’re cooks
so we equipped our kitchen quite thoroughly. All of our cleaning equipment,
plastic bags for trash. We try to get really small plastic bags so then we can
throw away our trash relatively quickly. A sink, tons of storage. Here we keep all
of our dishes and we decided to use metal dishes that we actually bought
from my friends old restaurant. You can find them on eBay too. All of our breakfast stuff in here. Frankly because we’re cooks we have way
too much food in this van. All of the controls for the van’s here as well. The
clean water and the dirty water which reads here. Everything’s written in
German and then sometimes old owners have written over it in French. The two
batteries, an exhaust fan, a light, which actually consumes quite a lot of battery
so we don’t really use it that much. The toilets which have a sink and a
fully integrated shower as well. You just take the head here and you pull it out
and it becomes your shower. Lots of storage which we keep for toothbrush and
small things that we need on a daily basis. Down there we have bottles of stuff.
Quick drying towels remember to buy quick drying towels. That’s a really good thing.
Air vents all the way at the top and one in the bathroom as well. A lot more food
from friends and specialty French producers. We like to cook with as much
specialty products as we can. Our closet here and good old shoe rack. Those always help. We’ve seen lots of people use those in really
inventive ways. The guide for the camping car since 1990. We’ve also got all of
these Muji cleaning. Muji, the Japanese brand has a lot of practical storage
units and also cleaning supplies. Packs of books with us because we really like
to read and I also keep my Kindle with me so we don’t have that many books.
Clothes here. This is Eric’s side of the van. This is my side of the van. Sheets,
clothing. This is really handy I’ve seen a lot of great ways for people to store
their clothing. One thing that I really like to do is put everything in small
bags. Hats because we work outside. All of our windows are glass. In the 90’s no one
was using the plastic. The original owner made all these
security attachments too, which is actually pretty handy, but they’re super
macgyvered so we’ve got little clasps on each side and then you also have a
mosquito net and lined which actually has reflected from the other side so it
keeps the heat out. Sheer curtains and the more opaque ones so you really do
have choice. Much to my chagrin we have a TV. It runs on the battery and it has a
battery cable so you can just plug it right in. All of the controls for the
heater. This is our radiator that runs on the gas bottles. We also have hot water
feature in the sink too so you can toggle the temperature. A lot of storage
which again connects to the storage compartment which is outside. We store
our deck chairs and electrical cables and things like that. Over here we also
have storage. All of our tools and extra bowls and cooking things. If you want to
sleep more people that’s never a problem. We can also seat legally six people in
this van while it’s driving. The table comes out of the rails and then it gets fit on
the little ledges you can pull the big cushions together and the small cushions come out and you have a double bed and then you can extend it even
further by bringing this one and this one out and then you take this cushion here
and you lay it here. The water tank is underneath the seat here. It’s 100 liters
and it works for quite a few days. Big access here. The pump down here and the
exit for the water which empties out into the ground. Water purification we
put it just in case. Up here is our bed which comes down about this height. We’ve got these blackout curtains which we stitched and put into the rail. It cuts
out cold in the wintertime or heat in the summer time and light from the
cabin doesn’t get inside when we’re sleeping. We store some stuff up here. All the insulation for the front window which is massive. These were custom-made for the van. In
the morning we can wake up and just open up the the window and hear the birds. The mattress which we just replaced is 40
meter cubed 15 centimeter thick. I know in France you need a specific
certification you cannot make your own anymore which is a bit sad but I guess
it’s for your safety too. Some work around buy a van that’s already been converted.
The insurance already recognizes that van. Otherwise you can do like what we’ve
done and buy an old camping car. They’re not super expensive and they already
have all the electricity and the plumbing installed for you. Sending money to them and just saying, “look I just tried your cheese, just want to tell you it’s amazing.” Take the label and literally call them. A lot of the time farmers have a really
big disconnect from a larger public so if you make the effort to reach out to
them they’ll be so flattered. A phone call means the world and it’s also the
best way to get someone engaged. Thanks for watching this week’s episode. I hope you enjoyed it. If you did be sure to share it with a friend and thank you most of all to the patrons who support the channel, I really do appreciate you.
If you’d like to learn more about our project ‘Bon Fond’ check out our website and our Instagram @bon.fond. Peace! Have a great week.

About Earl Carter

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50 thoughts on “Professional Chefs move into Van to Expand their Culinary Horizons

  1. People from all walks of life are choosing to go an alternative route with their life for one reason or another. I think that the Bonfond project is a creative use of vanlife to reach a bigger goal. The thing with most people choosing a van, tiny house, or whatever is that it is a tool to do something bigger. For me it was to be able to travel and create this video series. What's your reason for choosing an alt route?

  2. Living in a van in San Diego, CA USA is illegal, which is were I live. It is also illegal to be homeless and you will be arrested. For 24 hrs. I spoke to a homeless woman who was arrested recently and she told me it would be nice if we could spend at least 3 days in jail. We could eat, sleep and shower for free. No homeless shelters without having to deal with drug addicts or criminals. She doesn't do drugs & no convections. The harassment in shelters by these people is unbearable!!

  3. Fantastic to see a vintage Hymer on the channel !! Total gems . I live full-time in a Hymer 900 in the UK France and Spain and love it .more euro vans please !!

  4. to the lovely couple in the vid we get it, you're cooks! 😀 no need to mention it all the time 😉

  5. Very, very, very NICE vintage find! I'm jealous. I'd be curious as to the owner perspective on vehicle handling. It seems to be too short of a wheelbase for the body. But even if the handling is poor, the trade-off of having this unique vintage home on wheels would be worth it.

  6. Another Awesome Lifestyle Video from Dylan Magaster ! You are doing so well and a leader of this Minimalistic Nomadic Experience Driven lifestyle because Dylan you are Authentic……. You can clearly see it in your face and smile. What you see is truly what you get……REAL….youtube is filled with Fakers but Dylan Magaster is living the dream life. Much Love and Peace to all; may Joy BE with you all eternally.

  7. Hi, totally enjoying this channel and I've learned something knew about extra door security additions here. Does anybody know what the added door lock pad thing is called? At 3:49

  8. You are getting back to doing stories about the people Dylan, that is what separates you from the countless nomadic vloggers. Well done dude!!

  9. Thank you you have been an inspiration to me I love the channel you have inspired me to start my own channel i hope to grow and be successful as this channel just wanted to thank you be well.

  10. I would really like to know where you can get one of those security locks for your entry door. That caught my eye right away

  11. Why everything about this video is romantic.. the couple, the van, the bed, even the name of the van.. My God… so beautiful i could cry

  12. Super delightful couple! I’d love to know which wood bits they built and which came with the RV—that carpentry work is 👌🏻 Thanks for creating this Dyl.

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