Food Trucks Cooking up Restaurant Empires



Food Trucks Cooking up Restaurant Empires

To general manager Elizabeth Petrosian of Portland, Oregon’s Burrasca, launching the rustic Tuscan concept as a food truck — or cart, as it’s called in Portland — was the critical first step towards realizing that she and chef Paolo Calamai’s ultimate business plan: a sit-down restaurant.

Hollywood has even learned to invert “the star chef” story.

In the breakout indie hit “Chef,” starring Jon Favreau, the fed-up chef he plays turns renegade food truck entrepreneur. As he plies Cuban sandwiches out of a battered truck, it proves to be the spiritual antidote to the merciless, critic-driven L.A. restaurant scene. In the film, art imitates life: as food trucks have grown over the past decade from indie outliers to a mainstream phenomenon, they have also become the territory of pedigreed chefs.

But what makes a restaurant concept stick not only as a truck, cart or mobile pop-up, but also for the long haul?

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