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The Food Trucker: Rudolfo Martinez 

Tapa Tapa Truck

click to enlarge ILLUSTRATION BY JEREMIAH TEUTSCH
  • Illustration by Jeremiah Teutsch

So what’s on the horizon for you?
On the horizon, I’ve got a restaurant opening up in the next six months but I’m still scouting locations. Tapa Tapa is still rocking out at 516 Brooklyn, and the Texas Cooks Co-op, the supper club I founded, is getting more recognition. 

What advice do you have for us home cooks?
My advice to home cooks is to take your time and have passion in what you do. Even a PB&J sandwich tastes good made with love. 

What chef leaves you starstruck? Who is your food idol?
Alex Stupak has got to be the chef I am most enamored with right now. I enjoy the fact that he is bringing a progressive perspective and non-Mexican viewpoint to interior Mexican cuisine. On a local level, I think Jeff Wiley [formerly of Beat Street Bistro] is the dark horse chef of the year. He is a respected mentor and culinarian, and truly bridges the gap between the old guard and new.

Should all chefs work in a food truck at some point? Why?
Working in a food truck has taught me how to be clean, resourceful and efficient. While working in a food truck shouldn’t be a prerequisite for many chefs, it does teach you how to be a better service provider and to be more independent.

You’re closed for the night. Where do you head for a meal?
When I have a free night off, I like to support local mom-and-pop places like Sichuan Cuisine, Mr. & Mrs. G’s, or my neighborhood Jalisco.

What’s your food shame? What do you secretly eat under the cover of night?
One of my guiltiest food pleasures is Green’s twinkies–while vegan, they still pack a caloric punch. I could eat 10. Damn, they’re good.

Recipe: Watermelon & Pork Belly

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