Propelled by the immediacy of social media marketing and
the low overhead of fashioning meals on the move, fleets
of food trucks are congregating in cities across the nation
with crowds queued up for everything from Korean tacos
to bacon-bulging cupcakes.
Bruce Ozga ’92, dean of
culinary education at the North
Miami Campus, where venders
congregate weekly, sheds light on
the phenomenon. Expenses for
truck businesses are lower than
those for established restaurants,
he says, and if one location isn’t
busy, owners can shift gears to
another. In the mix, the movement
is elevating the level of
typical fast food to casual gourmet,
he adds, with local alumni as evidence.
Oren Bass ’10 and Zachary Schwartz ’08 run Slow
Food Truck, frequenting the Biscayne Triangle Round-up
every Tuesday night, just across the street from JWU’s
North Miami Campus. For their signature items like beef
short rib sandwiches, they braise the meat for three to four
hours. In September, the truck placed in the Top 10 in
Food Network’s “Great Food Truck Race” hosted by Tyler
Florence ’94, ’04 Hon.
Another Triangle purveyor is gastroPod, run by
Jeremiah Echeandia ’98, whose menu includes lambfennel
sliders, watermelon salad and red curry duck tacos.
Will Gilson ’04, owner of Garden at the Cellar restaurant
in Cambridge, Mass., runs The Eat Wagon in and around
Boston with partner Aaron Cohen. They sell gourmet hot
dogs, tacos and burgers made with grass-fed beef.
Scott Sopher ’99, who parks his Nosh Truck in and
around Bonita Springs, Fla., says, “The truck allows me
to be creative on a casual level.” His best-selling item
is blackened mahi mahi tacos with mango salsa. So far
business couldn’t be better. “One of my busiest nights, I
served 120 people in two hours, by myself. I was cooking,
serving and taking the money,” says Sopher.
Online > twitter.com/#!/eatwagon;
Couple Makes Perfect PairingSadruddin Abdullah ’00, ’04 MBA had held many jobs, from dog trainer and
fitness instructor to construction and railroad worker. But when, at 42, he met
Chef Claude “Frenchy” Monque, a pastry chef who taught him the art of sugar,
Abdullah was hooked.
After earning an associate degree in culinary arts at the University of Alaska,
Anchorage, he and his wife, Mahmuda Abdullah ’04, moved to Providence,
RI, to attend JWU. Sadruddin earned a BS
in baking and pastry and an MBA in global
business management. Mahmuda earned degrees
in culinary arts, baking and pastry and food
service management. Sadruddin later taught
baking and pastry at both the Providence and
In 2009 the pair launched Dessert Specialists
in Charlotte, making and selling handmade
pastries and chocolates. The couple hosts tastings,
pairing wine with ganache-filled chocolates
handcrafted to complement each wine’s flavor.
The menu includes three different wines, three
different chocolates for each wine, and a slice of
The Mudslide — “adult” cake laced with Bailey’s Irish Cream, vodka and Kahlúa,
with a cup of coffee and Kahlúa to finish.
Being a pastry chef isn’t just another job for Sadruddin. He is a renowned
sugar expert and the only two-time winner of the National Bread & Pastry Team
Championship — in 2004 with Chef Ciril Hitz, chair of the International
Baking & Pastry Institute on the Providence Campus, and in 2008 with Chef
Harry Peemoeller, a senior instructor on the Charlotte Campus. He took
second place on “The Food Network Challenge Pastry Daredevils” with his sugar
sculpture of a Pegasus fighting a dragon, and was a finalist in the 2000, 2002
and 2004 PatisFrance.website > dessertspecialists.com
Educational SpiritUniversity Chancellor John Bowen ’77, here with his
wife, Kathleen Harney, executive director of university
event standards and protocol, holds the Society of Wine
Educators Grand Award for his and the university’s
contribution to elevating the level of wine and spirits in
higher education and preparing future industry leaders
for successful careers. The award was presented during
SWE’s 35th Annual Conference in August, held partly at
the Providence Campus.