Food Truck Profile: Karnavor Gourmet BBQ
BBQ truck opening soon is no April Fools Joke
The Pacific Northwest has had a very strong influence on the national growth of the mobile food industry and coming up in April; the growth will increase by one more truck. This opening is scheduled for April 1st in the city of Salem, Oregon. The owner Don Charpilloz is primarily a self-taught chef who wants to serve up street food style barbeque paired with some Southwest/Mexican flavors from his mobile kitchen to the entire Salem/Keizer area.
The Karnavor Gourmet BBQ truck was created to help Chef Charpolloz share his love for cooking and barbecuing, but also his joy of serving others the food that they love to eat. When asked to describe himself Don replied, “determined, motivated, dedicated, comical, friendly, caring, and easy going”. We wondered what cuisine that he was unfamiliar with that he would you want to learn more about and why? “I would like to learn more about Southwestern & Mexican Cuisine. I love the bold flavors of the peppers and chilies; it seems like a true art form to be able to pair the right foods with the right spices.”
While working on the name of his truck, he wanted something “unique and original”. Don explained that he wanted a name that was easy to remember but also described the kind of food they serve. Giving all of the credit to his wife, he felt Karnovor “was a perfect fit”.
When interviewing mobile entrepreneurs we have a standard group of questions we like to ask to help our readers learn more about these business owners, here are a sample of some of these questions and how Don answered.
One food you can’t live without?
One food you detest?
DC: Liver & Onions…..yuk
Culinary speaking, your region of the country has the best…
DC: The Pacific Northwest has the best Diversity. Fosho!
Favorite celebrity chef?
DC: Bobby Flay
Best culinary tip for the home cook?
DC: Practice…and some classes don’t hurt either
If you could cook for one person, dead or alive, who would it be?
DC: JOHNNY CASH!
Proudest moment as a chef/restaurant owner:
DC: The first time somebody ever paid me for my food!
Favorite music to cook to?
DC: JayZ, Johnny Cash, ACDC, Kanye West, Eminem, Kid Rock, etc…
Best food city in America?
DC: Portland Oregon
Favorite restaurant in America?
DC: Gritty’s Restaurant and Pub, in Freeport Maine
What show would you pitch to the Food Network?
DC: “Restaurants on the Road” Featuring a different Food Truck (or cart) every episode.
Weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten:
DC: Chocolate covered Grasshoppers
The Karnavor Gourmet BBQ truck was purchased from AA Cater Truck in Los Angeles, California and to date has taken about a year to get it ready to start up. Don has never been part of the food industry; and because of this, food costing has been his biggest challenge in starting up his mobile food business.
The average price for a meal off the Karnavor Gourmet BBQ truck will be 6-8 dollars. The chef describes his food as, “fresh, bright, savory, unique, fun, homemade, smokey, sweet, and delish.” Currently the menu looks like this:
- Tacos: (Chicken, Pulled Pork or Brisket) Served on warm corn tortillas, our BBQ tacos overflow with freshly BBQ’ d chicken, pork or brisket smothered in our sweet and savory barbecue sauce. We top each taco with fresh cabbage slaw, made w/ toasted almonds & dried cranberries.
- Sandwiches: (Chicken, Pulled Pork or Brisket) Over a 1/4 pound of slow smoked chicken, pork or brisket served on toasted buns, covered in homemade slaw & Kar na Vor BBQ sauce (comes w/ a side of BBQ beans or Mac ‘n’ Cheese and a pickle spear).
- K-sa-dillas: (Cheese, Chicken, Pulled Pork or Brisket)
Kar na Vor Favorites
- Loaded Bacon Dog: Served up w/ glazed bacon and topped w/ sauteed onion & sweet peppers
- Glazed Bacon & Chipotle Shrimp Taco: This is a true treat, served on warm corn tortillas. Brown sugar glazed bacon & chipotle shrimp lay on top a bed of house slaw and topped with guacamole & cilantro.
- BBQ pork ribs
- Chipotle Shrimp & Sausage Kabob
Om na Vor Specials
- Garden Salad
- Garden Burger: Custom made. Tell us how you want it!
Sides: Smoked Beans, House Slaw, Mac ‘n’ Cheese
When asked what advice the chef would have for others thinking about starting their own food truck he responded, “Make sure that you take full advantage of your local Small Business Development Centers, Chamber of Commerce, and don’t be so in love with your idea that you cannot see the realities of the business!”
We wish Chef Charpilloz the best of luck with this endeavor, and will keep our readers up to date if additional news comes up before the launch on April 1st.