After a busy summer, things don’t seem to be slowing down for Toronto’s growing food truck scene even with colder weather approaching.
The newest kid on the food truck block is The Feisty Jack, a truck dedicated to traditional and modern takes on classic British food.
Owner William Randolph grew up in the food business in London spending time in family run pubs and later going on to formally train as a chef.
We sat down with him to discuss his new truck and what he plans to bring to Toronto’s food truck landscape.
TFT: How did you first get involved in the food business?
Feisty Jack: I think my first time in a kitchen I was about 6 years old in the back of my uncles’ pub, one of his cooks called in sick and they had me peeling potatoes, but hey, everyone starts somewhere. Growing up in a family where everyone was involved in the service and food industry you just innately learn the ropes and it becomes second nature. Professionally I decided to attend culinary school after I already had 10+ years of life in a kitchen but I wanted some official training. In the end I could not hide the fact that food was my passion.
TFT: Why did you decide to start a food truck?
Feisty Jack: Street food for me is one of the most amazing and untapped forms of culinary expression, the idea of getting something delicious in places you’d never expect is a huge draw. I spent a fair bit of time traveling in South America, India and East Asia and was blown away by how the population embraces food from the street as opposed to how we in the West do. Some of the most delicious food I have eaten has come from the street and the food truck thing was a great way for me to put my own spin on it.
TFT: What is the concept/theme of your truck?
Feisty Jack: Modern and classic British, but I like to refer to our food as “Gastro fare” a high quality combination of ingredients cooked with style, flavor and ultimately love. I want to change the idea of what people think about British food, it’s not all about deep fried goodness anymore, Britain has so many different influences these days and we can’t ignore them, huge Indian and Asian influences have come into play and it has changed the palette of many Brits, I hope to bring a little of that to the people of Toronto and also put modern twists on the classics.
Our theme is something we wanted to have some fun with, we went with the classic Union Jack as the iconic backdrop, I added the Spitfire RAF imagery to honor some family history and the teeth to make the truck a little “feisty” and to top it off we named our truck the “MMFalcon” because I am a Star Wars g33k and it seemed right considering all the mechanical issues that have pushed our launch from June to October =)
TFT: Well it looks great. Can you give us some examples of some of the dishes on your truck…
Feisty Jack: On our truck you can find classic dishes like Bangers and Mash, we call it “Smash Smash, Bang Bang” as we take it to the next level, boring old sausages are transformed using a spiced homemade lamb sausage and our mash potato is smashed with roasted garlic and rosemary mustard. Our Shepherds Cottage pie is the best in the city (we welcome all challenges…) but you’ll also find new British food, like a classic East-London Chicken Tikka Masala and we can’t forgot the “Vinnie Jones” a very angry brit-burger that packs a punch and makes our air-siren on the truck sound when it’s ordered.
TFT: I understand you plan to offer baked goods as well? Why did you decide to do desserts on your truck? What are some of the dessert items you plan to feature?
Feisty Jack: When coming up with the concept of the truck, it just didn’t seem right to have a British truck without dessert. When it comes to dessert plan on some classic staples like the legendary UK Banoffee Pie and Sticky Toffee Pudding and a selection of butter tarts including Choco-Peanut Butter, Apple-Caramel and Strawberry to name but a few, and last but not least a full selection of British chocolate bars ready and waiting to become a deep fried snack.
TFT: What kind of pricing can people expect?
Feisty Jack: We want to find a balance between making it affordable for everyone to enjoy our food, but also not sacrifice quality in our ingredients. Expect our food to be anywhere from $5-$10.
TFT: Where do you hope Toronto’s food truck industry will be in a year and what are you hoping to contribute?
Feisty Jack: I really hope that Toronto embraces food trucks, I am sure most are aware of the restrictive and archaic rules that surround street side serving in the city, however there is a genuine thirst for this industry and if we all worked together it’s a win-win situation. I hope that in a years’ time we will have established some serious rules and regulations that can help local business and food trucks work alongside to promote and be successful together. We have got to remember that Toronto is the biggest city in Canada, the most culturally diverse and is capable of greatness on many fronts; we sincerely hope this is one of them.