The Menu

We’ve practiced, tasted, tweaked, and finally perfected every element of the Crappy Little Chuckwagon’s first menu! For your edification:

Menu

Click to enlarge

Our practice run for the entire menu will be this weekend. One of my very best friends has moved back after almost 2 years! We’re having a huge bash for her this Saturday, and I’m taking the opportunity to launch the entire menu along with the Kickstarter campaign. What we have to glean from this is not only a great big CLK food love fest with pictures to prove it, but food cost.

The Cost

Bringing in more money than we spend is literally the bread and butter of a successful business. The upfront and fixed costs (such as the Chuckwagon itself, a grill, a fridge, the conversion to propane, mobile food business license, etc) are what we are budgeting to be covered by the Kickstarter campaign. After that, what comes in must surpass what goes out.

Beef brisket is a great example. In a grocery store, it will cost around $3 per pound while wholesale we can get it closer to $1.75. You still can’t look at it cut and dry, however. Two pounds of brisket after cooking becomes 1.5 pounds of brisket, so you have to calculate the cost per pound of post cooked product, and then mark it up to ensure there is an actual profit! Sounds fun, right?! :-/

The Party$2 Cup Cakes for Charity

I much prefer the scientific method to the mathematical…and I know where there’s a party. 😉 SO! Each menu item, brisket and all, will be brought out this weekend and documented very closely. The labor time necessary, the cost of raw materials, the yield of those materials after cooking, and the number of servings produced by the finished product will all be calculated first hand.

Once rubber hits the road, there will be other elements to consider such as viable competition, supply and demand, and market factors which will affect pricing, but for all intents and purposes…by this time next week, I’ll be able to tell you what we’re charging! 😀

The Launch

Being that a great many of my friends will all be in the same place exactly 3 days after my Kickstarter project begins, eating all of the Crappy Little Chuckwagon viddles…I’m just gonna make it official. May 1st marks the beginning of my Crappy Little Kickstarter campaign, but this Saturday will be the official launch party. 🙂 Watch the sky for fireworks!!

Shall we dance?

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A very humble beginning…

Hello Blog Readers!

This is undeniably the beginning of many firsts for me. In the past whenever asked “Do you blog?” or “Are you on twitter?” my response has inevitably been “I cook…?” Well here I am blogging, and please follow me on twitter @CLchuckwagon. Hahaha!

Why the sudden change of heart? In my 10 years cooking, I did manage to get a pretty neat cook book published, “Gourmet Meals in Crappy Little Kitchens”, but for the most part I’ve been content to cook great food for other folks, drink some beer and wine, and make a little money here and there. I’ve been an executive chef, a pastry chef, a catering chef, a culinary professor, and even the director of food service for the public school system. Shouldn’t I know what I want to be when I grow up by now? Why don’t I own my own restaurant? With a cookbook, shouldn’t I have a cooking show or something? I mean everyone else does. :-/

The Book

Then it hit me. I do know what I want to be when I grow up… a freakin chef!  And of COURSE I’d love to own my own business. How can I combine the very best of me into a business that would flourish and continue to open up new revenue streams, creative outlets, and help me become an all around more productive member of society?

Let’s see I’m an experienced chef who’s expertise is cooking in crappy little kitchens, a published cookbook author, a Texas girl born on a pecan orchard who had the opportunity to raise cattle and pigs growing up, and has a very strong relationship with food and where it comes from. Chef, small space, Texas, local farmers…

Playing with my food

That’s it! A food truck is the ultimate expression of a Crappy Little Kitchen! I want to embrace that purity; to not only enhance my ability to cook gourmet meals despite great odds, but to take it on the road. I’m looking to purchase a truck or a trailer (whatever I find with the most personality), “slap a sink, a stove, and refrigerator against one wall”, (for CLK historical accuracy), and christen thee The Crappy Little Chuckwagon.

Now to find a suitable wagon… more on that later. 😀