Success on the menu: Life's Kitchen food truck serves up chefs of the future
A catering chef admired a tub of cilantro chicken wings doused in sweet-chili sauce he planned to sell to the masses from a trailer in an empty Boise lot, Thursday afternoon. Video by IdahoOnYourSide.comvideo
A catering chef admired a tub of cilantro chicken wings doused in sweet-chili sauce he planned to sell to the masses from a trailer in an empty Boise lot, Thursday afternoon.
“Look at those beauties,” that chef – named Chris – said.
It was September’s first Thursday and the one-year anniversary of the valley’s food truck rally, where – for the first time – Chris and his truck planned to hawk their edible wares.
But this story is less about beans, rice, and carnitas tacos (all on the truck’s menu) and more about the young chefs who created those tasty treats.
“Could you give me a spoon?” 20-year-old Shauni Bonome asked Chris the catering-chef instructor.
Shauni dreams of a gig as a research chef. Her classmates – Connor Buerstetta, 19, and Zach Omsirisack, 18 – each hope to own their own restaurants someday. All considered themselves the best cook in their group of friends outside the program.
“Yeah,” Connor said, “probably the only one who knows how to cook among them.”
And at one point, Shauni, Connor and Zach all also likely qualified as at-risk youths.
“In my life,” Zach said, “I could have been at risk to go nowhere.”
“I was at risk of kind of being in between high school and college,” Connor said,
“Oh, my gosh,” Shauni said. “I was at risk of, I guess, not having a life. I was just sitting there. I dropped out of college at U of I and this was just a way better choice – more hands-on.”
The Life’s Kitchen food truck allows the program to grow even more practical, teaching customer service, food-handling, preparations ranging from barbeque to deep-fried to heart-healthy and demanding all learning happen on a strenuous deadline.
“It’s kind of a rush, but we always make it,” Chris said.
This catering chef watches his students make it too – not just taco plates, but into chef jobs in major kitchens, at risk of nothing but culinary success.