On any given Thursday evening, the My Little Kitchen Mobile Cuisine food truck can be found behind the Staas Brewing Company in Delaware serving up a menu that brings a fresh new twist to the food truck industry.
Liz Staas, the proprietor of Staas Brewing Company at 31 W. Winter St., said Chef Jeff Snyder approached her about a-year-and-a-half ago with the idea of setting up shop outside the brewing company. She said since he was based in Delaware, the company was willing to support his endeavor.
“He’s local, here in town,” she said. “The customers love his food. We have a lot of regulars that come in on Thursday to drink and eat his food. It’s great to have him here. It’s quality food.”
Within the first year of hitting the road, Snyder’s cuisine was voted one of the top three food trucks in all of Central Ohio.
Snyder, a semi-retired 60-year-old transplant from northeast Ohio, was destined to work in the restaurant industry. He said his grandfather and father owned restaurants, and his grandmother was a baker.
“I started cooking on the line when I was 11 years old,” he said. “That’s where my start came from.”
Snyder moved to Delaware in 2013 when he followed his girlfriend to the area after she accepted a job in Dublin. With his years of experience in fine dining, he was naturally attracted to Delaware’s restaurant culture.
“We really liked the food culture that’s happening in Delaware,” he said. “So, we bought a house here in Delaware and decided to base our business here.”
Before diving into the food truck industry, Snyder considered opening a restaurant in Delaware but could not find the right fit for his taste or budget.
“We were going to buy a restaurant in town, but we couldn’t find the right building in the right area,” he said. “To be honest, things are a lot more expensive here, and I’m not a rich person.”
Snyder said in the meantime, he worked as a private chef for individuals but then was inspired by a movie about a chef whose background reflected his own that had started a food truck.
“I found out that I could set up at breweries, wineries, and things of that nature and give people something the Columbus food truck atmosphere doesn’t have,” he said. ‘They don’t have a really elevated bar food or elevated food. It’s more of one-trick ponies. They do one type of food.”
Snyder said he purchases all of his ingredients locally in Ohio.
“I call it from the farm to the truck,” he said. “We work with different farmers around the area. Everything I have, except the shrimp, comes from all over Ohio.”
Snyder said he has shrimp flown in twice a month from the Gulf of Mexico as long there are no hurricanes, which have put him back a little bit on getting the shellfish. He said he has shrimp tacos, shrimp fries, and occasionally shrimp and grits on the menu.
“People find my shrimp very tasty,” he said.
Snyder makes his own hot dogs from a family recipe that he said he has “tweaked a bit.” He also makes his own sausages and sauces. The beef he uses in his recipes is all Ohio grass feed black angus, and he purchases cheese from the Amish.
“We’re really proud of our hot dogs,” he said. “There is no doubt about it, people love them.” He also mentioned that a lot of people love his pastrami as well.
Snyder said he thinks there’s a lot of problems with Americans health today that can be directly connected to foods they eat.
“Everything on my truck is completely organic, non-GMO,” he said. “The old saying of ‘you are what you eat,’ there is a reason for that.”
To see where My Little Kitchen Mobile Cuisine will be next or to check out the current menu, go online to http://mylittlekitchencbus.com/index.html.
Contact D. Anthony Botkin at 740-413-0902. Follow him on Twitter @dabotkin.