One of the cities that I have been fortunate enough to visit most often and try so many of their tasty food trucks is Denver, Colorado! I am happy to report that I have eaten at over 35 food trucks in and around the Denver area, and have had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with almost every one of the owner/operators of those trucks.. But, alas, Corner of Gourmet, is not one of them! The owners, Scott and Jessie, started the business in June of 2013, shortly after one of my most recent trips to the Mile High City. I have been back only once since, but did not have the opportunity to meet them in person. So, meeting Scott and Jessie in person and trying their food is just one more reason for me to try to get back to Denver sometime in 2014.
Corner of Gourmet has been "Checking-In" using FoodTrucksIn.com regularly. I have enjoyed seeing the daily Check-Ins and tracking where they have been "Serving Now". I reached out to chat with Scott about their experience in Denver.
Eric: I have some family and friends in Denver. Did you grow up in Colorado?
Scott: No, I actually grew up in Nebraska. I moved to Denver in 2005 after graduating from cooking school in Texas. My sister lives in Denver and I moved here to be closer to her.
Eric: Did you grow up knowing that you wanted to be a cook?
Scott: I started cooking when I was 15 and have never really done anything else. It's in my blood. Going to cooking school made complete sense to me!
Eric: Texas is a great place for food trucks. It was a little bit before they caught on but did you see many of them while you were in Texas?
Scott: Actually, I really did not have food trucks on my radar at all until sometime in 2009 or 2010. I think I first learned about them on some of the cooking channels on TV.
Eric: So did you go to cooking school with the plan to open your own restaurant?
Scott: When I was in cooking school I thought I would end up in fine dining. I love to cook and have never studied business and did not really ever think about owning my own place.
Eric: So when you moved to Denver I assume your worked in restaurants?
Scott: When I moved to Denver I worked a number of different kitchen jobs as a line cook. I worked a bunch of jobs making $10-$12 an hour. It was a lot of long hours, and lots of responsibility.
Eric: When did you first start thinking about opening a food truck?
Scott: When I was younger I was content working in a kitchen for a fair hourly wage and was never that ambitious. As I got a little older I started to become more ambitious. I decided that I wanted to do something where I could be more creative and have the opportunity to make more money. I just was not sure what it was.
Eric: So when did you come up with the idea for a food truck?
Scott: Sometime in 2010, I had a rare day off. I had learned about food trucks from TV and had done a bit of research. I was out fishing and it just came to me. I called my dad in Nebraska and asked him for his thoughts. He said go for it.
Eric: So your dad helped you make the decision! Was it good advice?
Scott: He actually told me I should quit my job and try to get a job at a food truck. It was probably really good advice that I didn't follow and wish I had. It would have been a great way to learn a lot about the business more efficiently.
Eric: That was in 2010 but you did not open your truck until 2013?
Scott: Initially I didn't do anything about it. In January of 2013 I was working as a kitchen manager and was working really hard and was feeling stressed and feeling under paid. I just had had enough. I quit my job and spent 20 hours a day researching food trucks. I considered other jobs but kept coming back to wanting to cook. The idea of being mobile and going to different environments and being able to make my own decisions and schedule just really excited me. The truth is that meeting Jessie was a huge moment in my life. She is my girlfriend and my business partner, and a big part of why Corner of Gourmet is on the road.
Eric: Does she work on the truck with you?
Scott: We actually met working together at the country club. She is still there doing an internship and is finishing up cooking school. When she is done she will work on the truck with me and also probably still work at the club part time. But she is still involved in so many ways.
Eric: Is there anything special you are looking forward to in 2014?
Scott: One of the best regular events in Denver is Civic Center Eats we are really looking forward to participating with so many other great trucks on Tuesdays and Thursday at lunch time.
Eric: Tell me about your menu?
Scott: We try to do interesting food with big flavor. It is indulgent, comforting, and cozy. We serve American cuisine with influences from around the world.
Eric: What are your most popular items?
Scott: The Reuben Roll which is Corned Beef Reuben Sandwich served as an eggroll. It is really tasty and easy to eat on the run. Our steak tenderloin slider on a baguette is our other signature item. It comes with a cream cheese spread and balsamic reduction. They are easily our two best sellers.
Eric: So, I plan to get back out to Denver sometime this year. I am looking forward to trying that Reuben Roll.
Scott: You should try to catch us at Odyssey Beerworks, we are there five times a month or so and have already arranged to be there on St. Patrick’s Day.
You can learn more about Corner of Gourmet and where to find Scott in and around Denver, CO. at http://www.foodtrucksin.com/corner-gourmet.