Show 17 – Joel Crespo & Brian Hardesty from Guerrilla Street Food
Gone are the days of the roach coach. These are not your dad’s food trucks. Today’s food trucks can be found all around town at hots spots for lunch or late night eats and big food truck events in neighborhoods all over. You’ll find everything from gourmet grilled cheese, BBQ, gyros, cupcakes, Korean tacos, and Filipino inspired rice bowls. Some are content with building their empire solely out on the streets while others use that experience to test their concepts and build equity before opening a brick and mortar location. Joel Crespo and Brian Hardesty are doing both. They started their Filipino inspired food truck Guerrilla Street Food in 2011 and last year open their store at 3559 Arsenal. Taking from Joel’s Filipino roots and Brian’s experience as a chef at places like Harvest, Monarch, and most recently Element, the two are turning out delicious porky offerings like Their Flying Pig, whole roasted hogs, and now a once a month brunch menu with a partnership with Cocktails Are Go for special beverages. They’ll be my first food truck guests and I’m excited to talk to them about their experience and to get tips for my next hog roast.
Cut Of Meat Of The Week
This week we’re going whole hog!
Roasting a whole hog can seem daunting but is easier than you think. It’s all about the method and equipment. You can do it on a spit, in the ground, spatchcocked in front of a fire, and in various commercial roasting boxes like the La Caja China. We used the La Caja China, or the Cajun microwave, to roast our episode winning whole hog with Mac on the Travel Channel’s Underground BBQ Challenge. You can order up a whole hog from most local butchers or source it from one of the many local farmers raising quality heritage breed hogs. Typically go for a hog that is 90 to 100 pounds. When you are ready, your best bet is to get in touch with Mac’s Local Buys.
Spice / Herb Of The Week
This week’s selection is bay leaves.
Bay or laurel leaves are a staple in the cooking of many sauces, soups, and stews. They are those big green, thick leaves you occasionally find in the marinara that were missed when removing them. The flavor can be hard to place as they serve as a base for building other flavors but make no mistake, they do make a difference. At first they can give off a menthol almost medicine like taste but after cooking awhile their flavor rounds out to a tea like quality. Like all spices it is especially important to use the freshest leaves possible. One Filipino dish that you’ll find bay leaves is adobo. Here is a recipe courtesy of The Food Network for Filipino Chicken Adobo. Probably not as good as you will find at Guerrilla Street Food but worth a try.
August 27th – Alton Food Truck Festival
August 27th & 28th – Festival Of Nations
September 16th – 18th – Taste Of St. Louis
Credit: Tony Loves Food