Trading Afghanistan for Spice Girls and Mexican Food

Mexican Food

We’ve been continuing our travels around the UK and during the trip I’ve been busy hunting out more independent businesses so that I can bring their stories and champion their cause.

After leaving my laptop in a hotel in Kent and having to wait for it to be shipped back to me, I can finally get chance to write about the Unami Spice Girls that I met at the Edinburgh Food Festival.


Introducing The Spice Girl

Firstly, it’s not really Spice Girls but more Spice Girl.  While at the Edinburgh Food Festival I came across an amazing chef called Michelle Logan who was cooking up some fabulous Mexican food in the Umami Spice Girl Food Truck. Michelle is a farmer’s daughter from Haddington in East Lothian who is a graduate of the prestigious Edinburgh New Town Cookery School.  She has cooked all over the world not just in restaurants but also in fishing lodges, yachts and private houses.  With a love of travel and food, she set up Umami Fifth Taste, selling authentic curry kits from Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, India, Singapore and Malaysia at Stockbridge Market in Edinburgh every Sunday from 10am to 5pm.  Each kit contains a unique spice blend, a fresh authentic paste and fresh kaffir lime leaves or curry leaves.  The kits enable even the more slightly challenged cook (like me) to impress their friends and family with their culinary skills!

So Where Does Afghanistan Fit It?

Mexican Food
Ed, Michelle and Geordie in the Umami Spice Girl Food Truck

When I met Michelle at the Edinburgh Food Festival, she wasn’t alone in the Food Truck.  She was doing an amazing job keeping Ed and Geordie in check.  The 2 guys are both recently retired Army Officer’s and together the 3 of them cook up a storm and keep the Edinburgh local’s and tourists happy.  It’s not long ago that Ed and Geordie were commanding troops on operations in Afghanistan as members of the Royal Regiment of Scotland.  Having left the Army and decided to take a change of direction in their lives they set up the Umami Spice Girl Food Truck together with Michelle.  In a relatively short period of time, the 3 of them have gone from a great idea hatched over dinner, to cooking their wonderful Mexican Food at the Edinburgh Festival.

Great Mexican Food at the Fringe

Fantastic Quesadillias
Awesome Quesadillas

Even after they found out that I was ex-RAF, they were still happy to chat to me about their love of Mexico and mixing different spices to cook up their amazing dishes.  I especially love meeting ex-servicemen and hearing about their transition to civvy street.  Being able to support such amazing people on their new journey in life is great, especially when they cook up such tasty food.  Lucy and I both tried some of the Quesadillas.  Being a veggie, my daughter Lucy had the Chipotle Bean Chilli one and I had the Pulled Pork.  Both were amazing, so nice in fact that we had to go back and get some Nachos as well.

More Than Just Mexican Food

Top Menu - Not a Ration Pack in Sight
Top Menu – Not a Ration Pack in Sight

As well as a great selection of Mexican food, as you can see from the menu, they also do Thai Satay Kebabs and Malaysian Rendang.  So if you find yourself in Edinburgh before the Fringe Festival finishes on 29th August, stop and visit Michelle, Ed and Geordie in the Food Truck at 55 George Square.  If you are too late for the Festival, follow them on Facebook (@umamififithtasteltd) or their Instagram page (@umamispicegirl) and find out where the truck will be next.  You can also visit keep in touch with them by following the link to their website here.

Supporting the people who run independent businesses, like Michelle, Ed and Geordie, is much more fun that going to big chain restaurants where you fill the pockets of shareholders.  If you know of any independent businesses that I should feature on From Real People let me know.  It would be especially good to be able to feature some more ex-servicemen and women.

Until next time, have a great one.


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One Thought to “Trading Afghanistan for Spice Girls and Mexican Food”

  1. Hi John,

    Loved your review of Umami Spice Girls, they’re food is indeed awesome!

    I love the mission you’re on and would love to connect.

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