Monte Cristo Food Truck LogoSEATTLE, WA – Call it a Seattle meltdown. Monte Cristo, the gourmet grilled cheese truck dreamed up by a four-star chef, is leaving the city for Portland.

The “mobile melts” food truck, owned by the Bon Appetit Management Company, will go private, serving employees of a Portland technology company (They’re not saying who yet. Intel, maybe?)

The cheery polka-dotted truck started rolling in October, featuring creative, dressed-up grilled cheeses and soups and sandwiches that used high-quality local ingredients. (Fried Beecher’s cheese curds were a favorite.) It was created by Danielle Custer, a James Beard award-winning chef who had most recently worked in a managerial position for BAMCO, overseeing 150 employees on major projects like setting up a cafe at the Starbucks headquarters. She had loved getting back to line cooking and getting the chance to “play with a dream.”

“It was super fun, it was such a great project,” Custer said by phone yesterday, en route to Portland, where she will be meeting with the truck’s new team. The opportunity “works really well for everyone involved, including me,” she said, though “It’s a little soon for my heart, in all honesty.”

Custer will stay with the company in Seattle — it’s her home, she said, and she has some other projects in the works.

Find the entire article by Rebekah Denn at the Seattle Times <here>