Planning a wedding in a pandemic would be stressful enough without having to consider competing in a cooking competition with your reputation on the line, but Dan Howell and Catherine Keane took it all in their stride.

The couple run their food truck Man Street Kitchen from an old horsebox Dan bought on a whim from eBay and they have managed to turn their unique idea into a blossoming business.

The couple first met back in 2007, while living in Queenstown, New Zealand, and it was their mutual love of food that brought them together. Their experiences - Dan as a chef and Catherine as a front-of-house manager - gave them a unique perspective into the food industry and it was through marrying their skills that they first established Man Street Kitchen.

The name is inspired by the area in which they first lived together - Man Street in Queenstown - and they started out by catering for events and festivals while Dan was working as a sous chef for celebrity chef Rick Stein.

Dan said: "I had done the 70-80 hours a week working for somebody else and we just wanted to do our own thing."

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In the following years after they met, Catherine and Dan moved around from New Zealand to the UK and then France, and it was while working in a ski region that Dan decided to take the plunge and buy the horsebox they now use to serve their cuisine to the masses.

He said: "I had seen a few horse boxes around in the ski valley and I thought that it was a great use of space because I had friends with food trucks and it was all very limited in terms of headroom and space. One day I was scouring eBay and I found one for sale for €600 back home in England and that was it."

The couple moved to Catherine's home country of Ireland in 2017 and continued to do some occasional catering jobs, but it wasn’t until the pandemic hit that they decided to focus all their attention on the food truck business.

Catherine explained: "When we started up, we were both working full-time. Dan was a head chef in a local restaurant and I was managing the retail side of Beshoffs in Howth."

"We just tried to do the food truck when we could, when we had spare time and then the pandemic hit and our jobs went and then all the focus was on the horsebox," she added.

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Things really took off for Man Street Kitchen when the couple began offering takeaway food to the public in North Dublin just over a year ago.

Catherine said: "It just went crazy, and we got to have so many people experience our food. We have the same customers coming back to us every Friday for a full year."

She suggested the food truck sparked a real passion for the couple and they quickly found that when they would experiment with a new dish, their customers would also get excited about trying something new.

Dan revealed that at their busiest, after putting their menu up on social media on a Monday for pre-orders for the following Friday, they would be completely sold out in three or four hours.

While preparing to take part in the Battle of the Food Trucks, Dan and Catherine had another major event to plan for - their wedding - which took place a week after filming.

Dan told us: "The week before the show was meant to be wedding prep and organising but it was an opportunity that we couldn’t say no to."

Speaking about their wedding, Catherine added: "It was a DIY wedding in my mom’s back garden."

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The couple chose to cater their big day themselves, serving up Argentinian barbecue-style cuisine to their wedding guests with the ever reliable horsebox parked out front.

Opting for a food truck over a more traditional approach to dining was about starting something that was "more creative than a restaurant" for the couple.

"We wanted something more unique where people could come to us for an experience rather than just dinner or lunch," Dan explained. "With our background of hosting people in chalets in France, we want to talk to people, we want to share our passion and tell our story, not just have a waitress carry some plates to a table."

Catherine added: "One of the great things about starting off with a food truck is we actually make connections with everybody. We have our customers who come up to us in St Anne’s who have been there from the beginning. We don’t just want to be that nice restaurant, we want it to be that experience that Dan and Catherine created."

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Dan said: "We have served food in some of the most beautiful places and to have a breathtaking view on a workday is fantastic. It gives us more freedom to be unconventional."

"We get a lot of foodies coming to our truck and it is fantastic seeing our customers get involved in the food, asking questions and watching how we do our thing," he added. "I think the public approach to food trucks has definitely changed and you can see there is enjoyment from experiencing quality food from a truck or in our case, a horsebox."

You can find Man Street Kitchen parked up for service in Howth on Friday nights and in St Anne’s Park in Raheny on Saturdays.

7UP Free are proud partners of the Battle of the Food Trucks exclusively on RTÉ Player. Friends, food and 7UP Free. Clearly Great Moments. Clearly 7UP Free.

Don't forget to join host James Patrice each week as things heat up in the battle to crown Ireland's best food truck. Watch it here now on RTÉ Player.