For the upcoming March of the Food Trucks event we’re interviewing a few Food Truck Chefs prior to Saturday. First up is the newest kid on the block: What’s the Catch.
1. Introduce us to the chef and the type of food you plan to serve at your food truck.
We carry 2 chefs in our holster here. Chef Brett and Chef Richard. We will be serving mostly seafood cuisine but our signature plates are the fish tacos.
2. Can you tell us about your cooking background?
Chef Richard broke into the restaurant business as a kid. His first job was with Calico Jacks at the age of 16 and from there he has been a food industry connoisseur ever since. Whether working as line or prep cook, managing a kitchen, or just enjoying the fruits of others labor by dining out as much as possible he has incorporated all these experiences to create what he feels is a memorable plate.
Chef Brett has always been a successful spear fisherman and self proclaimed “Iron Fish Chef” for over 20 years, subsequently developing different fish cuisine over time that impressed his guest. Catering large functions and parties with his fare has allowed him to identify what the masses want to taste and how they want it presented.
3. How long did it take to go from concept to reality?
Concept began in January 2014 and reality is going to be Saturday March 15th at the March of Dimes Food Truck Rally. The last 8 weeks have been more than eventful.
4. Do you plan on using fish you’ve caught in addition to supplied
We will only be using fish that is purchased from a licensed
local supplier. We have the unique benefit of actually fishing with commercial groups that have the credentials to market, so it’s a real bonus to be able to pick which fish we want as we see them being brought into the boat. It’s a perk that we bring to the table…no pun intended.
5. What is the one dish of yours diners shouldn’t miss?
Personally, the Key West fish taco and the Baja Shrimp taco are my favorites. If you like a little more heat then the Baja is for you, if you want that traditional citrus flavor with fresh slaw then the Key West is calling your name.
6. What’s your favorite place to eat in Jacksonville and why?
Dwights Bistro hands down! It’s small, it’s local, there’s only one of them on earth, the food is amazing and Dwight and his staff make you feel like you are part of their family. With Dwight personally cooking every dish, there is never a bad meal there.
7. Comments on #Foodtruckfiasco2014?
We think it’s simply an educational process for Jacksonville leaders and our local operators. There is a common ground that can/will be reached where the Brick & Mortar stores and the Food Trucks can both be prosperous. Food Trucks are in cities all over the country so we know it can be accomplished, it’s just a matter of building the process and procedure’s accurately in the beginning to insure its long term success. We remain hopeful that the resolution will be fair for all parties involved but we ask the public to be vigilant in opposing any legislation that jeopardizes the working freedom of these hard working food truck operators.
8. What’s been the most surprising part about launching a food truck?
You likely don’t have time to hear all the lessons we have learned with this project, lol. It wasn’t even all the construction and improvements to the trailer itself. I think getting a solid menu built that makes sense for consumer pallets is more tasking than the perception. But more than that, its being able to manage the prep times and deliver the menu food that exceeds the customers expectations. It’s much harder than most people think, that’s for sure.
9. Do you know much of the history of your trailer? (and boy is it shiny!)
We decided that this was the look we wanted if we were going to get in this business, we wanted the truck to be a representation of our personalities as well as the foods. We know that it was built in 1971 and it was used as a normal Airstream trailer thru the 90’s. It sat under some tree’s for 10 years before being purchased by French Chef Pinoir in St. Augustine in 2009 where he built the beginning of a Food Truck but never really finished it. We then purchased it from him in January 2014 in St Augustine and What’s the Catch was born.
10. Do you have regular location picked out you’ll be setting up at?
We will have our final routes set up next week and if possible we would like to send them to you so you can update our interview bio. Just have to finalize a few things before we are 100% scheduled. (Editors note: stay tuned!)
11. Anything else our readers should know?
We know that the people of Jacksonville expect quality ingredients in their food choices so we have made the easy decision to make Grouper the daily fish of our truck. We just want your readers to know that we are simple local guys that grew up in Jacksonville and our sole mission with this food truck is to impress them with quality proteins, smart flavor profiles while also handing them a presentation that says “Wow – These guys care”.
* This truck was sponsored by Energy Armor Inc, and anyone simply eating at “What’s the Catch” truck at the March of Dimes event will receive a FREE Energy Armor Super Band with a $25 retail value. We will also have a live musician (6-8PM) sitting on a stool playing familiar tunes and taking request from the patrons at the event.