(This feature was published in OurAwesomePlanet.com last September 16, 2013)
This generation’s youngsters are fortunate with all the available opportunities that surround them. One young entrepreneur, Jasper Daryl C. Pe, is currently in college while managing his food truck business.
The food truck is actually an off-shoot of the family business called Jasper’s House of Chicken, a stand-alone restaurant in the Manila area. “It is a collaborative effort in making the truck.” Jasper designed the logo and truck, aside from being the inspiration behind the brand’s name. According to Jasper, the family thought of getting into the food truck business because, “First, you are not limited with the rentable space you have. Second, you can go to your customers and your customers don’t have to go to you. And third, it is very flexible. We constructed the truck ourselves with blood, sweat and tears—literally. Then everything just came together.”
In Cucina Andare, customers may find Jasper’s dad, Joseph Pe, handling the operations of the food truck. Jasper deals with marketing, while his brother, Jeremy, takes care of the financials, and his mom, Debbie, is in charge of the recipes and purchases.
One the family’s recipes is the Bacon, Mac & Cheese (P95), a comfort food for kids and adults alike. The macaroni pasta is baked in a creamy sauce with bacon bits and topped with more cheese. It’s a rich dish that is filling as well. I heard this could get out of stock pretty fast since it’s one of the bestsellers.
For those who want the traditional rice meal, this food truck offers affordable options such as the Tapa Flakes(P120). Their version involves thin strips of sirloin steak that is cooked without oil. It’s very easy to eat and is a healthier alternative too, although best eaten while still hot.
Another must-try is the signature dish, Jasper’s Chicken (P120), fried chicken fillet pieces that is doused in a sweet, gingery sauce and topped with sesame seeds. It comes with a cup of steamed rice for a complete meal. It comes in another flavor that features honey barbecue sauce.
But the standout menu item for me was the Chicken Karaage (P95), a small tub of bite-size chicken skin/meat that is seasoned with cayenne hot chili. I like that each piece had a good portion of both the chicken skin and meat, unlike other places that only serve the skin. I have yet to try Jasper’s other flavors like barbecue, sour cream, and wasabi.
I munched on the chicken karaage like chips and had to stop myself from eating the whole thing before I gain five pounds on the spot. Maybe next time I’ll bring it home so I could gorge privately.