The roach coach of yore is today’s trendiest dining experience, with countless Bay Area food trucks conjuring cult followings. For some time now, during lunch breaks all over the region, foodies of every stripe have been lining up for
But these days, food trucks are offering more than grab-and-go meals that cater to basic necessity. Today’s food trucks are helmed by real chefs making real delicious foods (how often we crave the Chairman’s bao!). And with the advent of Off the Grid, they’re delivering a full-fledged social experience. Where once a food truck might have been just a precursor to an eventual brick-and-mortar restaurant, now they are restaurants in their own right that reflect our on-the-go lives…and aspiring chefs want in on the action.
Driving the project is, you guessed it, Off the Grid founder Matt Cohen, whose second venture, The Whole Cart, currently serves as the official mobile food caterer to big companies like Google. It is there on Google’s campus that Cohen’s teaching arm,
“The program starts with basic culinary training, moving into management of a food truck and really pinning down what it means to run a truck,” says Cohen. “Then it swings into the media aspect, which helps the students create a brand identity—everything from
Elizabeth Miranda, an assistant baker at Kara’s Cupcakes who studied culinary at Le Cordon Bleu in Sacramento, is
“We have two major concepts for the churro,” says Miranda, who believes her idea is fresh to the Bay Area food truck circuit. “One is a churro dog…”
Our brains and stomachs start doing somersaults as we try to imagine it, and just as we’re getting distracted, she goes on to show us that, indeed, it’s pretty much what it sounds
(Elizabeth Miranda serves up a round of churro dog prototypes for her instructors to taste.)
“We tried various different recipes to push the boundaries of how we could
(Elizabeth Miranda’s melt-in-your-mouth churro ice cream sandwich)
Currently six months into the program, Miranda is striving to create something new, and she’s quick to give shout-outs to her team of culinary teachers, a rotation of pros from Off the Grid’s well-known roster.
“Getting mentored by all these chefs, who have so much experience in the industry, and getting paid to do it is an amazing
Yes, you heard right, Miranda is getting paid for full-time work with The Whole Cart, where she’s getting hands-on experience in up-and-running trucks while also getting the education she needs to roll out a truck of her own. Once she graduates, she will be given the opportunity to debut her project among some of the toughest critics: Googlers.