- Super Truck Chef, International Super Hero
- Dan Medalsey, Boss man, Montreal Restauranteur
MtlStreetFood: Ariel Restaurant has been around since 2006, what made you decide to get into the food truck business?
Dan: I turned 50 this year. Some may say I’m in the midst of a mid-life crisis. Some guys try to get young girlfriends or ‘trophy wives’, others buy exotic sports cars or fast boats; I got myself a big, red, shiny food truck.
MTLSF: What was the inspiration behind Le Super Truck? Where did the name come from?
D: Super Truck’s chef began a life dedicated to fighting both crime and hunger at a young age. Food trucks aren’t just a hobby for this invincible crime fighter – she was born in a food truck just 45 minutes outside of Lac-Saint-Jean! One year, she was in Paris apprehending some arms dealers from South America and came into Darkaum (Cour Chevel, France) for some dinner with her assassin friend from Morocco. The rest is history!
Our menu focuses on local produce, meats, and artisanal cheeses; the talent and creativity of Montreal inspired the truck’s aesthetics. Super heroes remind people of the good (and the bad) in all of us. We wanted a truck that was exciting, fun, and friendly. We also like badass women, so putting our Chef Heroine on the side of the truck was a no brainer.
MTLSF: Describe Le Super Truck in 5 words or less.
D: Fresh. Fun. Badass. Delicious… and Super.
MTLSF: Where are you from and how did you get started in cooking?
Super Truck Chef: Quebec, just like our smoked duck!
MTLSF: If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?
STC: Saving people from hunger. Hunger sucks.
MTLSF: What’s the craziest thing that’s happened in the truck so far?
STC: We were closing the big door that covers the order / pick-up window when a truck driving past clipped the door and ripped it off the truck. It happened so fast, and was SO EXPENSIVE to fix!
MTLSF: One place you’d like to park your food truck but aren’t allowed to:
D: Maybe in Sweden at that crazy restaurant where they don’t have electricity and everything is cooked on a fire over a candle or something. That would be awesome.
MTLSF: We tried the Super Sandwich (one of the greatest sandwiches we’ve ever tasted by the way), how did you get the chicken so moist and tender?
STC: The chicken takes us a while to prepare this way and I’m glad it shows. We debone a whole chicken leg, then brine it overnight in a salt / honey solution with a few other aromatics. This helps keep the chicken moist. The next day, we vacuum-pack the chicken and cook them sous-vide (in a water bath) at 165-degrees for 3 hours. It cooks the chicken through but leaves the meat soft and moist inside. We take it onto the truck like this; then to order we cook it on the grill, skin-side down to get it nice and crispy (and hot!).
MTLSF: What are your thoughts on First Fridays at Parc Olympic? Good? Bad? Overwhelming?
D: We love it and we’re excited to see it catching on. This winter, we’re trying to get a space (indoors) in a parking garage where we can meet up on Fridays with other trucks when the weather is cold. We want to have a space where street artists, DJs, and local Foodies can meet and get together to have a great time. We would be super excited to see the Olympic vibe translate into the winter season. Going into hibernation isn’t really a Super Truck thing.
MTLSF: Your top 5 favorite food truck items in Montreal right now:
- Route 27 – cool tartars
- The Corn Dog at Chaud Dogs
- Lucille’s Lobster Roll
- Pied de Cochon (PDC) truck is doing fun stuff
- Zoe’s Sandwiches belly burger
MTLSF: Any rivalries?
D: Sometimes we get into street fights and cage matches with other food trucks, but it’s all good. It’s a tight community and we’re just lucky to work parked next to so many fun and adventurous people.
MTLSF: What are your top 5 favorite restaurants in Montreal?
MTLSF: Who’s your chef idol?
STC: Barbara Kingslover is one of our favorites. Her book Animal Vegetable Miracle is a must-read for anyone who really cares about what they eat. Also, Anthony Bourdain is a staff favorite. He’s an honest chef with a kitchen-focused food vernacular. Thomas Keller is also amazing, for all the different cultures he puts into his food and how in any area or region he manages to translate the flavor and people… and he’s like the king of sous-vide.
MTLSF: Any advice for aspiring chefs?
STC: Read about food. Talk about food. Get a job in a kitchen working for a chef you respect. Show up on time, work hard, and spend your free time at the farmer’s market. Remember that food is about family, friends, and community.
MTLSF: You’re stuck on a deserted island, what’s one ingredient you’d have to have, or else you’d lose your mind?
STC: One? Jeez. Ok, how about ice cream? Or a lime… you can cook with it or make a cocktail.
MTLSF: Any new menu items on the horizon?
STC: We just added Verbena Tea with a ginger and crispy pork-belly salad with green papaya. We don’t want to give away too much soon, but I’ve been thinking about a take on the ol’ fried chicken and waffle dish – involving confit duck inside the waffle batter and foie gras mousse.
MTLSF: Any final words or shoutouts?
D: Bullies are losers. Fresh is better. Food trucks rock.
We thank Super Truck and their amazing team for this fantastic interview. We really do love their Super Sandwich and can’t wait to try all the other exciting dishes they come up with. For a full review of our dining experience, check out Le Super Truck Food Truck Review.