By Jenny Peters
Land Rover rolled into L.A. to join in the fun of the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show (which runs from December 1-10) and they started things off with a fiery flourish on Sunday, November 26, by cooking up a storm right out of the back of a bespoke Discovery SUV at the hot new foodie destination Smorgasburg LA.
And this wasn’t just some random Land Rover owner’s tricked out car. This one was custom made for Chef Jamie Oliver and his family (he has five kids!), specifically designed to have some seriously special elements to the already comfort-filled seven-seat Discovery.
Oliver, who lives in Essex in the U.K., couldn’t make it to the Smorgasburg LA reveal of his car, but he sent two colleagues, chefs Donal Shekan and Caroline Artiss, in his stead. That talented duo cooked up Jamie’s recipe for a Turkey Banh Mi sandwich, doing a slight shift on the traditional Vietnamese street food by using Thanksgiving leftovers. And they did it all by simply using the car!
For Jamie Oliver’s Land Rover is tricked out like a chef’s dream car – which is exactly what it is. Tucked into the back of the SUV is a foldout chef’s table, complete with two burners, prep station, knife drawer and even a popup television for the kids to watch while dad cooks. And there’s more, much more.
“The coolest feature are the oil and vinegar dispensers,” Donal Shekan said giddily, as he pulled the oil dispenser from the inside roof of the Discovery. “They both are pumped out of tanks inside the car!”
We have to disagree, however, for the front rotisserie element is just amazing. A long stainless steel pole extends from the front grill, and turns meat on a spit with the help of the car’s engine. There’s also a slow cooker pot built inside the engine cavity and a toaster sitting cozily in the front seat console, complete with jams to accompany the toasted bread. Fresh herbs grow out of a tiny garden built into a left rear cubbyhole on the outside of the vehicle; on the right rear, there’s a spot for a collection of spice bottles.
It’s a jaw-dropping version of Land Rover’s bespoke program; and the Banh Mi sandwich was really tasty, too. As part of Smorgasburg LA, the Sunday only pop-up food and crafts market located downtown at the Alameda Produce Market at 785 Bay Street, proceeds of sales of the $8 sandwich to the public that day went to Food Forward, a local non-profit dedicated to recovering surplus produce and donating it to those in need.
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