A Clacton burger van owner claims his menu is being copied by other food outlets but stresses he is not out for competition. 

Frantz Laraque, owner of Angie’s Breakfast and Burger Shack, has been told by his customers that other food outlets in the area are now imitating his Haitian and barbecue-inspired menu. 

After taking over the business half a year ago, he created a menu for his customers by going back to his roots and including Haitian and American flavours. 

Growing up in the United States and sharing its love for barbecues, as well as his Haitian family roots, have influenced his cooking style. 

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

He said: “I have always been known for my barbecuing and for my style because I’ve always had issues with store-bought stuff. 

“I grew up in the kitchen with my mum, so I know how to cook.

"I’ve learned how to cook, and folk always loved my barbecues, everywhere we went.” 

His passion for good flavours has not only given him a reputation for being a master on the grill, but also won him four American barbecue championship titles. 

Being able to use quality produce from the UK and Ireland, which is seen as top-tier and luxury in the United States, makes Mr Laraque very proud. 

“I stress the quality," he said.

"British beef is a coveted thing. And the charcoal - there are certain lump woods that if you get your hands on there for your grill, back at home you pay a hundred dollars for a bag. I got the best of both worlds.” 

Mr Laraque does not see the need to copy someone else’s menu, and believes there are more than enough different opportunities in Clacton for everyone. 

“If we all think in the same direction we can all make money here," he said.

"There are too many mouths to feed for any one of our kitchens alone, so we do not have to be trying to step on each other’s toes.”