LES CARTS

Here you will find a growing list and bio of the carts that become part of the Behind the Cart Family. Audio/video clips will be added for each visiting cart and for each dinner party. Also feel free to connect with them on Facebook or Twitter!

Guerilla Grub|A Humble Plate|Three Twins|OneNinetySeven Coffee|Naughty Donuts|Oaktown Jerk|Angry Man Eats|Kitchen Side Car|Chef Jordy|BOFFO Cart|GrilledCheezGuy|Aaron’s Sex Cake|INNA Jam|Simply Mochi|El Tacobike|23 MonkeyTree|S+S Gastro Grub|BLANK Tea|Tea & Good Company|Schulzie’s Bread Pudding|S+S Gastro Grub|Fat Alley Foods|Frozen Kuhsterd|Suite Foods|Uncommon Pickle

 

 

Here you will find a growing list and bio of the carts that become part of the Behind the Cart Family. Audio/video clips will be added for each visiting cart and for each dinner party. Also feel free to connect with them on Facebook or Twitter!

Chefs: Elizabeth & Corey ~ Food Cart: Guerilla Grub
http://www.buttonshut.com

Elizabeth met me or I met Elizabeth at some point at the Oakland Art Murmur. She was one of the lucky few who started telling us we could no longer set up shop on Telegraph rogue style and had to join the Art Murmur collective to continue serving. She then watched over as I hatched as a fledgling food cart into a beautiful food cart swan. She quickly went from boss to friend and has introduced me to many many people and places in the East bay that have helped me advance my cart career. Recently she started OMFG, the Oakland mobile food group, to help organize the east bay carts and trucks. She has been successful in finding new venues and new places for us to vend so it was only natural I invite her and her cart-gone-truck to mine. ether where we have been able to serve lots of food and enjoy lots of laughs together. I am happy I was able to bring them aboard from one of the first Behind the Cart dinner series as they definitely have a lot to bring to the table!

A brief bio about the birth of their food truck: “Guerrilla Grub was born of both desire and necessity. Co-Owner, and hair-brained-entrepreneur, Elizabeth August, having many years of experience in both restaurant and small business management, did the math and began scaling back on her dream of owning a restaurant, down to a to-go place, down to a mobile food business. When husband/co-owner, Corey “Cookie” Stowe found himself seriously under-employed, after more than 20 years in construction, the Grub Cart was born. They bought a second-hand cart off Craig’s List. Corey repaired it, and re-worked it, and made it go.”

News: East Bay Express: There’s a New Promoter in Town

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Chefs: Rathsamee & Emily ~ Food Cart: A Humble Plate
http://www.buttonshut.com

I met both of these ladies at an event in the Dog Patch not too long ago. They were amused at my rather bulky and “unique” set up I had while I was jealous of their simple and sleek design they had going on. With a grill and stand that was as small as a TV dinner tray they cranked out amazing asian-style burgers that were a huge hit. Ever since then we have continued to events together where we have been able to serve lots of food and enjoy lots of laughs together. I am happy I was able to bring them aboard from one of the first Behind the Cart dinner series as they definitely have a lot to bring to the table!

A brief bio about them: “For Rathsamee Ly and Emily Whitehurst, A Humble Plate started as an outlet for a serious obsession with cooking, hosting dinners and traveling on food quests. Our dishes are mostly Laotian-inspired which means we use very simple, fresh ingredients and incorporate Southeast Asian flavors. We try to put together new ideas alongside conventional Laotian cooking methods. Some of our food can be traditional but it is also new, fun and always extremely flavorful.”

News:

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Ice Cream Maker/Founder: Neal~ Food Cart: 3 Twins Ice Cream
http://www.buttonshut.com

Upon moving here about 5 years ago I started attending my local Berkeley farmers markets. It was there that I met the parents of the founders of 3 Twins Ice Cream. We immediately realized we shared many things in common: love of ice cream, being from NJ, and having a crazy entrepreneur in the family. In their case it was their son Neal who was the founder of 3 Twins. Upon going week after week to the market we eventually became good friends and I now call them both my “parents of the West Coast”. It has been very inspiring to hear the personal story of their son and his success in the field. I too hope that one day I will make it from stand to store and beyond like they have!

These guys have definitely gone “Beyond the Cart” and you can find them now all over. From their website: “We sell ice cream at our three company-owned scoop shops in San Rafael, Napa (Oxbow Public Market) and San Francisco at Fillmore and Haight, wholesale tubs to Bay Area restaurants as well as Whole Foods Market Cupertino, retail pints to Bay Area grocery stores and various sizes at the Berkeley Farmers’ Market each Tuesday and Saturday.”

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Roaster:Eric ~ Food Cart: OneNinetySeven Coffee

Fact: I don’t drink coffee. Let’s not start off on the wrong foot for this one. I had to find a guy (or a girl actually) to help me on this one. She pointed me his way and we did some chatting and I did some reading and being a fellow East Bay man who shared me his rise in the coffee biz was inspiring to hear. This guy has the beans to serve at Behind the Cart and I look forward to meeting him and probably not trying his coffee! (Sorry but luckily it’s for the guests!) A part of the story of the man and his beans:

“……A year later I started roasting coffee in my kitchen. It was a very small operation, just for me and my friends, and more of a proof of concept than anything else. I was shocked at how good the coffee was, and started to think that I could open my own roaster. I knew enough about the industry, and it would give me the opportunity to build things from the ground up, without all the bullshit, just passion and dedication. A few months later I had invested in a large-scale roaster, built a website, and was tasting new coffees to put together my first espresso blend. A friend of mine from Pizzaiolo suggested doing a Pop-Up café in her backyard on the weekends, and it’s been on and on from there.”

News:

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Chef:Hannah Hoffman ~ Food Cart: Cibo Per Strada
http://www.buttonshut.com

I met Hannah at the Oakland Bike 2 Work After Party this year as I was looking around in search of new local vendors to recruit for Behind the Cart. Hannah happened to be working with Tina Tamale at her stand when I approached them to talk shop. It took only moments to realize that both of these ladies were connected in the food world and were proud of what they did. What I didn’t realize right away was that Hannah was the naughty one making naughty donuts. It wasn’t until I worked alongside her at Bites OFF Broadway that I got to try her hot goods and fall in love at first bite. She told me about the arduous process of making them the night before till 4AM while still making it to work. I could instantly relate and realized that I had met my doughnut lady for this week’s Behind the Cart. A short bio about Hannah:

“Hannah was reared atop a restaurant pastry table, —really. Well, until she got too big, then they put her in the dumbwaiter with the vegetables— it seems that Hannah has always had food in her hands. This early exposure to food and the industry made such an impression on Hannah that she dedicated her education to understanding the value of food and it’s influence on culture. After 10 years of college, she finds herself back in the kitchen making treats to delight the palate and the soul.”

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Chef:Randall Hughes ~ Food Cart: Oaktown Jerk
http://www.buttonshut.com

I’m not sure the first time I came across this jerk but I do know this jerk’s jerky was the only jerky I had ever liked. Jerky was never and probably still is never my thing….unless it’s Oaktown Jerk. The chile lime cilantro changed my whole latitude about this stuff. No more was it that crappy dog chew-stick looking meat/thing that hangs out at all major gas stations near the check out line. This stuff was quality and so was the local Oakland man behind it. Being Oakland is the town that birthed the Grilled Cheese Guy as well, we jerks stick together.

From Oaktown Jerk: Oaktown Jerk is proudly located in Oakland, CA. Our Beef Jerky is made with Certified Piedmontese beef (hormone free, 100% grass fed) and all of our ingredients are fresh and purchased locally. The final product is both chewy and flavorful.

His inspiration for the assortment of delectable jerky recipes comes from his travels to South East Asia and Mexico along with years of cooking experience. “I love to cook and the kitchen is where the culinary artist in me takes over. I was introduced to cooking in 1985 by two friends, renowned chefs Michael Isles and Jim Moffat. It’s very satisfying for me to see my customers enjoying my culinary creations”. Twitter: @OaktownJerk

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Chef:Paul ~ Food Cart: Angry Man Eats
http://www.buttonshut.com

At this point I know about as much as you do about the guy. He appears to be angry, a man, and he eats. Since I’m from New Jersey I can really relate to that. The only place we differ is Jersey diners ain’t servin up no chicken n waffles at any given time. But apparently on this side of America you’s guys are eatin that kind of stuff and I know he’s the one to go to for this known L.A famous dish so I’ll let his bio do the rest of the talkin.

“To feed someone is not just to provide nourishment, it’s an opportunity to share something you’re passionate about and make others happy, and through Angry Man Eats I hope to do that as often as possible.

So despite the fact I may run you over if you jaywalk in front of my car, I would gladly share my last meal with you if it meant making you smile. Contradictory? Yes. Who cares – try the food, you’ll get it.” – Angry Man Eats.

I look forward to jaywalking in front of him to sit down and have a chat with him about his food.

Chef:Katie K. ~ Food Cart: Kitchensidecar
http://www.buttonshut.com

I actually met and chatted with Katie at the New Taste Marketplace although we might have seen each other at some of the ForageSF events. After seeing the whole roasted pig and hearing she was an ex-scientist gone food extraordinaire I knew we would be buds. That and she mentioned something about the love of Vonnegut. Good food and good sci-fi….is there anything more? Katie and her sidecar-cart venture to from SF to East Bay and team up for various events like Rock, Paper, Scissors with @LittleKnock and her newest creation the Sunday Supper.

A bio from her blog: “I am a big believer of good food with, forgive me for a lack of better words, soul. I shy away from food trends (re:goji berries, infused sugar) in dire need of substance, because I just don’t appreciate smoke up my ass – it only adds to the gas.

My focus is the concurrent flux of any and/or all of the following attributes in cuisine: culture, geographical and political climate, socioeconomics, tradition.

I walk the line between smug San Francisco foodie and squatting brisket noodle slurper. Between the ferry terminal and the civic center fish market. Between assembling and stewing. Between truffle salt and fish sauce, smoked salmon and bacalhau. Ultimately, I am a lover of all above mentioned and most in between.

I try and get as close to the food as possible because, for me, cooking is a both a ritual and scientific experimentation (I was a chemistry major). I love the act of taking a day to collect ingredients and coax out their pungent flavors in the kitchen like others have done before. I don’t even mind waiting for things to ferment, leaven, cure, pickle, or freeze. My approach may result in long drawn out processes; however, my plan is to learn and study until one day these things become effortless.”

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Chef:Chef Jordy ~ Food Cart: None!?

There will be no links or quoted bios about this guy because he is not a food carter but my secret weapon. He is the man behind the Grilled Cheese curtain. Although he took no part in any of my recipe designs for grilled cheeses, he has taught me a wealth of other finer things involving the kitchen. Jordy is a transplanted line cook chef from Ohio with a passion for cooking like I have never seen. No meal ever doesn’t get that extra touch that makes it a step above. You know a true chef when he can’t resist getting involved in the kitchen. Sometimes when I am “experimenting” he comes in like there’s an invisible fire I don’t see and takes over trying to rescue what is left from the impending disaster I don’t comprehend. When he first moved here he immediately got a job with Boulette’s Larder, a michelin star rated restaurant in the Ferry Building, where he enjoyed learning and being challenged by such a prestigious kitchen. Now he has come closer to home serving it up in the East Bay at a new and exciting restaurant. I have asked and hoped he will be the only constant among the chaos at these events. I am excited to give him our table as a playground to play with our palettes and hope you will too! (Photo from Boulette’s Larder. Jordy prob didn’t make that….but he could.)

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Chef:Rhassan F. ~ Food Cart: BOFFO Cart
http://www.buttonshut.com

It’s hard to know where to begin when talking about Rhassan. I met him on the streets of Oakland at the Art murmur when he was serving up food outside Stork Club with my good buddy. It was watching his hustle and love for the food he was hustling that I saw my potential to take my trophies and start up my own little stand right beside them. Originally I started making signs that said “GOOD GUYS BAD GUYS” to represent his healthy and organic food and my…..not-as-healthy but fresh and quality grilled cheese. We continued carting side-by-side until we got moved to the big leauges on 23rd street. We support and work together often and I have respected him and his amazing food since the beginning. Boffo cart roams far and wide from Farmer’s Markets to ForageSF events and beyond. I am more than excited to have him join me at our first table as a chef and a friend.

News: (8/10/11) Interview by the Albany Patch, (August 2011) Interview/Article in Edible Communities

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Chef:Michael D Food Cart: The GrilledCheezGuy

I could go on forever about this guy! What’s not to like? He is handsome and smart and funny…..and those blue eyes!!! Oh wait, this is supposed to be about the food aspect of me, I mean him. Food has been a large part of my life since the day I was born, because I was born with French blood. Not just French blood either. I also had a French mom and grandmother growing up with me. That meant my mom got to be my mom and cook occasionally but my grandmother could be the French culinary chef of every meal my mom was too busy for. That means I ate like a king my young adult life and learned early on the power of the tools in the kitchen. I saw how pies were created and fries were forged. I witnessed the wonders my grandmother could do and got involved and always learned. It allowed me to continue on bravely without her in college and host many dinner parties and woo many food loving gentlemen. It continued with the creation of Family Nights at my house in Berkeley to try and bring everyone together on a regular basis to enjoy a fresh family meal. And now it continues on with Behind the Cart where I hope to bring other food loving people together to enjoy a fresh meal in a fun atmosphere the way I remembered as a kid. Food is to be enjoyed and appreciated and loved and laughed over. With Behind the Cart I hope everyone leaves the table with a full belly and a good story or 2. I plan on being your host and moderator for most evenings but can only hope down the road we get some other more enlightening foodies to join the talk!

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Chef:Aaron K. Food Cart: Almost Better Than Sex Cake
http://www.buttonshut.com

Maybe Aaron has another name for his cart, maybe not. It’s not something that is that important after you have tried something as good as his cake. Like most that will encounter him and his stand you will leave filled and satisfied, from the cake that is. I know that many people scour the surface of the planet trying to find something that might give us the feeling we get between the sheets. Aaron has gotten closest to this with the delicious taste and full rich flavor you get between his sheets (of cake)! When trying to create the perfect kick-off meal, how could I not include a guy like this? I hope everyone “gets off” to his creation as much as I and many local bay area foodies have! Twitter: @Sexcake

Maker: Jesse F. Food Cart: Soda Craft
http://www.buttonshut.com

The drink department is always lagging behind the food department at most food events in the area. There are just far more men of meat than there are dudes of drinks. This dude, however, claimed his stake early and has been working and improving and expanding his beverage empire ever since. Jesse and his Soda Craft (used to be part of Beer N Nosh) have been alongside me at many, many events and it is always refreshing (literally) when I get to sample his drinks during a busy day. Me being a HUGE soda fan I knew from the moment I met him that I would be including him in BTC and beyond! He has definitely become the local go to go for all things liquid. Twitter: @sodacraft

 


Chefs: Dafna Cory~ Food Cart: INNA Jam
http://www.buttonshut.com

Dafna’s name came through whipsers and stories from local friends and folks. Stories of a girl on a bike with jams and maybe even pickles. A girl roaming the bay area in search of trees and bushes that were not being used to their fullest jamming potential. It just happened one of my own friends got very wrapped up in this sticky story when she started working with Dafna. Once brunch was a decided choice for the third Behind the Cart, Dafna and her jams became a definite member of the brunch team. I will wholly admit I am a pretty huge jam fan myself. Those little french labeled mason jars at Berkeley Bowl get me everytime. My parents taught me a horrible practice of enjoying a dessert of PB & J directly in a bowl and eaten in small mixed bites. I have practiced this tradition intermittently throughout my life and recently one of my friends and roommates declared it an “Elvis Presley” move. I thought skipping the bread too was helping reduce our likelihood of a jammed heart valve. Nevertheless, my passion for the stuff has never waivered and I can easily attest that Dafna’s jams are the best in town. Not only do the traditional flavors beat down the competition, but her jams go much further in variety with flavors like her Spicy Jalapeno and Fresno Chili. The spicy jalapeno will be making it onto the plate of the next Behind the Cart alongside my cheese course in fact. Basically once you get your hands on her jam, you are stuck for life. Be warned, and enjoy.

Side note: Both INNA jam & El Tacobike win the Behind the Cart GREEN awards for using pedal power to show up at our brunch.

A little info about her company: “We make fresh, seasonal jams from fruit sourced within 100 miles of our Berkeley kitchen. by sourcing produce directly from local organic farmers we’re able to get the best possible fruit – fruit that’s picked ripe and is absolutely fresh. Our single-varietal jams are crafted so that each fruit varietal’s unique essence and natural subtleties shine through in bright flavors. a jar of jam contains fruit from a single source! we don’t mix fruit, we don’t add herbs, spices or flavorings – INNA jam tastes like the freshly picked fruit from which it was made, each jar a time capsule of flavor.”

News: Feb, 2012: Dafna is Kickstartin a Kitchen! Show some love!

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