Reporting Sara Pelissero
With so many new — and delicious — food trucks hitting the streets of the Twin Cities each summer, it’s almost too tough to keep up. Well, fear not, we’re here to help. Here’s this week’s food truck feature!
When you eat at Scratch food truck, you’re enjoying the flavors of Geoff King’s heritage. From his mother’s kitchen and his grandmother’s recipes to his family’s table, the food you order from this bright and cheery food truck is always straight from the heart.
King said he grew up in a home where food was the centerpiece, whether it was celebrations, traditions or a family dinner. Those meals inspired the Pacific Islander/Asian influence that he brought into his professional cooking career.
It’s a somewhat simple idea but the payoff is always huge. Start with the food and flavors that you love to eat and cook and see if others agree.
That’s what King has done in his mobile kitchen — with great success. The sesame beef is packed with flavor, juicy and tender while his spicy garlic mock duck is a delicious kick to your taste buds.
Here’s more about the King of (made-from) Scratch food truck.
Owner: Geoff King
Date the food truck opened: Summer of 2011.
What kind of food do you serve? The food has an Asian-influence, so a lot of things that I love about food basically, we put on a nice toasted roll. Korean-style, southeast Asian, Filipino-style, so a lot of things I love about food.
Price range of menu: Our sandwiches are about $7-$8.
What was your job before opening the food truck? I was a chef. I worked professionally in the restaurant industry for almost 11, 12 years. I was running a restaurant called Subo and when that closed, that’s when food trucks became legalized. So I asked myself, “Do I really want to work for somebody else?” Opening a food truck was a viable thing to do instead of opening a restaurant.
What made you want to get into the food business in the first place? A lot of reasons. I think growing up with food and culture … you really get an understanding of the importance of what food means to culture and all that. Growing up in a household where food was a very important part of family, it really turned me on to enjoying it and wanting to do it on a different level.
How is the food prepared? We have a commercial kitchen space and we cook all of the meats and stuff there. Then most of the items are actually cooked-to-order. So we take them as far as we can before cooking them and then once our customers order, we cook it to order. Everything’s as fresh as possible.
How did you come up with the name? That’s funny. My wife actually came up with it. It made a lot of sense — from scratch, all that kind of stuff. But what really did it for me, when we go visit my family in the Philippines, we’d all sit, all my cousins and relatives, we’d all sit at one large table and at the head of the table is my uncle. And after every single meal, it didn’t even matter, he’d always lift up his shirt and scratch his stomach — as a sign of satisfaction. When that dawned on me, I was like, cool, it’s got a personal reference and then also it means a lot of things as far as cooking is concerned. So it was just kind of a fun name and really came together.
Is the food based off of recipes you grew up with? Absolutely. It’s things that my mom would cook. Things that my grandmother would cook. And of course, I have a little different style now. I went to culinary school to be classically French trained.
What’s your favorite dish that you serve? Aww man, that is rough. Can I just take a little bit of everything? I think it’s surprising the things that are starting to become more popular. For example, our spicy garlic mock duck — I love that dish. It was actually a meat-inspired dish but ended up being a vegetarian dish. The braised chicken adobo, I really like that. The sesame beef is like a Korean-style hoagie. So yeah, that’s a really hard question. It depends on the day and my mood.
Describe your truck in one word: Delicious.
What’s your craziest story from working at a food truck? I think it’s just getting your feet wet and understanding that things shift around quite a bit. I definitely was preparing for a big event early on and I had food all over the place and wasn’t properly secured so it ended up falling all over the ground and it was kind of crazy. I think the other thing is just understanding the logistics of it. Brick-and-mortars are so different because everything’s constant. Food trucks are not constant. For example, running out of propane in the middle of a lunch rush and all of a sudden you’re out of power.
What’s one thing you want people to know about your food truck? Well, they should eat it. Everyone should definitely come and eat it. The food is very sincere food. It’s food that I believe in and that I cook from the heart. There’s nothing overlooked. I’m not putting food out there for the sake of putting food out there. Everything has an intention.
Catch the Food Truck Feature every week, in the Curiocity column. Know of a food truck you think should be featured? Let us know by leaving a comment below or tweeting your suggestion to @SaraPelissero!