Richard Hales of Sakaya Kitchen has given us unprecedented access into the process of gassing up a food truck from scratch. Each week or so Eater Miami will track the progress of Hales' newest baby on wheels, Dim Ssäm à Gogo, through his own words and images. And away we gogo.
Part III: Racing Against the Clock
What a difference a week makes. We went from a ham and egger delivery truck to a rad street machine. The biggest change right now is the fact that an empty box called the back of the truck has a massive kitchen inside it. These kitchens are unreal and honestly, if you somehow tractor beam’d your ass Scotty-style into the back of it, you would have no idea you were sitting on four wheels.
The kitchen comes complete with a grill, oven, burners, steamer, fryer, 3 compartment sink, hand sink, exhaust hood with suppression system, a/c system, cabinets, shelving and more refrigeration than I have on the line at Sakaya Kitchen. Plenty of counter space to create some magic and a big fat window to sling it out of. The whole thing runs on propane and a generator. Supposedly I can go 80 hours without plugging into the grid---pretty sweet.
When I opened Sakaya Kitchen there were zero chef-driven, ingredient focused, inexpensive, fun and quick Asian restaurants –now there are five. It’s always a race against the clock and the next guy in the restaurant industry, so we have been working all hours to get Dim Ssäm à gogo to be the first Asian truck on the streets.
The kitchen is completely done with exception of the inspections but the exterior is behind schedule. I was pretty much cut out of build process this week after I broke the back bumper off during a walk through. I Godzilla’d that bitch right onto the ground and almost took the owner of Food Cart USA with me. Embarrassing yes, but not a problem since I have plenty to do trying not to F up the launch.
Staffing and menu were the tasks this week and I accomplished both. Hired a couple of talented chefs to keep the standards up at Sakaya Kitchen while a couple of my veterans hold it down on the truck with me. The menu is turning out pretty cool and once the local farming season starts will be doing what I call a “farm to truck” menu.
I even bought a Sous Vide machine to accomplish some of the new items. Costs are lower on the truck so I have a bit more room to play with local and organic products than I can at Sakaya Kitchen where the rent is crazy high. It looks like I have nailed down parking locations in Coral Gables, Brickell, South Miami and downtown. The launch is still planned for the Fall for Arts Festival, but maybe a guerilla style outing for the Wynwood Art Walk on Saturday if they are able to finish the exterior. Stay tuned on Twitter to get the latest updates. [EaterWire]