Food News

11 Things Crazy Pig's Shimond Bradley Has Learned from Food Trucking in Texas

Surely Shimond Bradley, chef and operator of The Crazy Pig food truck, didn't invest his time and money into Johnson and Wales University for a culinary degree to work in 120-plus degree heat in a virtual hot box for slim wages and a never-ending workload.

Or maybe he did.

Bradley has been burning up the pavement between Dallas and Fort Worth, pushing out paper boats of culinary items like house-made porchetta, pan-fried rabbit and confit potato wedges with crème fraiche. We caught up with him recently and racked up his top 11 lessons from operating a food truck in the summer in Texas:

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1. Understanding that the air conditioning probably isn't going to run when it's hot outside is really important. Circuits pop easily, so you just have to live with that fact. Keeping the coolers for the food running is more important than the AC.

2. It can get well over 120 degrees inside the truck when we're cooking. At that point, the repetitive actions I learned in school and working in busy kitchens takes over.

3. The heat really isn't the worst part. Nothing ever goes right in the kitchen. That unknown is usually the biggest pain in the ass of the day.

4. Location is a really big challenge too. There's not a leeway in the city of Dallas, so it makes establishing spots in Dallas difficult.

5. Never take yourself too seriously.

6. Bungee cords are my number one friend. They keep equipment in place when traveling; they hold doors so they don't fly open and many other things that pop up (or out or open).

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Lauren Drewes Daniels is the Dallas Observer's food editor. She started writing about local restaurants, chefs, beer and kouign-amanns in 2011. She's driven through two dirt devils and is certain they were both some type of cosmic force.