Food Truck Profile: What The Fork

Congratulations to Chef Mario and the What The Fork Food Truck Team on winning Mobile Cuisine’s 2015 Best Food Truck Taco!!

Chef Mario started the What The Fork food truck only a short time ago.  In a few short years, he’s built a formidable empire of food trucks, a line of bottled sauces, and brick and mortar restaurants.  This winning taco was inspired by Chef Mario’s girlfriend’s grandmother (aren’t grandmothers great inspirations?) when making grilled pork chops and “candysauce” with sweet potatoes.  When Chef Mario was creating the initial menu in 2012, he knew he wanted to incorporate that delicious sauce into a dish.

Taking the #Candysauce as a required ingredient and inspiration, he chose to marry it with pulled pork.  The pulled pork ‘travels well’ and he already knew how good it paired with the sauce.  Instead of a bun, he used tortillas as the serving vessel and topped off the sandwich with a spicy slaw and crunchy sweet potato straws.

“I knew from the first bite it was going to be a huge seller,” said Chef Mario.  And, yes…  What The Fork customers “REALLY” love it!  After the nomination, “we asked them across our social media channels to vote for us and they made it happen again!”

Oddly, the winning taco isn’t his favorite dish off the truck.  What is, you may ask?  It’s their House Fries.  Russet Burbank potatoes twice fried and tossed in Pink Himalayan Salt.  Sounds good to us!

Mobile Cuisine is always excited to learn how food trucks grow and expand their businesses.  We had to ask:  Why bottle and sell the #Candysauce and #Baconjam?  It turns out that early on folks were requesting so much of the sauce in soup or soufflé cups and the volume of requests began to dip into their allotted prepared product for service.  To accommodate demand, they quickly got all the required licenses and items in order to start bottling.  They’re now selling the bottled sauces through online retailers and local stores.  Now you’ll never run out of the sweet nectar!

Chef Mario always planned for growth.  Their first truck, nicknamed “The Beast,” hit the road with great success.  Prior to appearances on Live! With Kelly & Michael, they had the business to support another truck, but the TV exposure gave them the ability to move on it more quickly.  Enter “Mooch,” the second What The Fork food truck.  The move into brick and mortar restaurants was a logical next step.  They have two locations, of the same name, where they’re able to carry a larger menu and cut order times in half.  They surpassed business milestones faster than they anticipated.  Their 7-year plan has been realized in 4 years.  Now they’re looking to keep scaling units across the northeast.  He attributes his success to customer service, consistency and a great team of people.  Sounds like a winning trifecta!

As finalists in Live’s Truckin’ Amazing Cook-off, they were even able to feed the incomparable and revered Jean-George Vongerichten.  We can only imagine that would’ve been a surreal moment in anyone’s culinary career.  Other lucky (and famous) mouths belong to not only Kelly and Michael, but also Selena Gomez and the awesome Stanley Tucci.  Chef Mario hopes to one day get Guy Fieri to sink his teeth into that winning dish.  Don’t you wonder what he’ll say, “Shut the front door!”

Before he was Chef Mario, he was Mario and hung out at his dad’s restaurant.  Too young to actually work in the kitchen, he hung around the back-of-house staff every day and got to see the impact of food on people.  At that young age of 8, he knew he wanted a life in food.  Looks like he made a great decision.

Another congratulations are in order to Chef Mario and the What The Fork Food Truck Team for winning Mobile Cuisine’s 2015 Best Food Truck Taco!  Keep doing what you’re doing because it looks like your future is as sweet as #Candysauce!!

2015-10-05T12:31:56+00:00 By |Profiles|

About the Author:

Hannah Ashor is a marketing professional turned co-founder and contributing author to Mobile Cuisine Magazine. She is proud to be a part of this new and exciting sector of the food service industry. She is fueled by the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit in those she meets regularly. Using her event planning background, she organized Chicago’s first food truck event series; the first of it’s kind in the city. Since that summer, Hannah has met with folks on all sides of the industry and shared it online with the Mobile Cuisine readers. Hannah’s enthusiasm, coupled with her event marketing background makes her editorial contribution a vital part of the organization.

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