The Manila Machine: Filipino Food Truck Rolls Out
Marvin Gapultos Manila Machine
The democratization of food, if you can call the evolution of the food truck such a thing, continues. And this time, instead of a rogue chef taking the wheel, it's a pair of food bloggers. Noting the relative absence of Filipino food in Los Angeles in general, and in the fleet of food trucks in particular, the Filipino-American bloggers behind Burnt Lumpia and Let Me Eat Cake, Marvin Gapultos and Nastassia Johnson, are launching The Manila Machine, a food truck serving Filipino food.
The Manila Machine, which will officially debut this Thursday, June 10th, during Downtown Art Walk, will be serving a menu devoted to Filipino street food and homestyle cooking. Chicken adobo, pork belly and pineapple adobo; lumpia; beef and sausage sliders on pan de sal; and for dessert, leche flan, turon and halo halo. There will be specials and, when the weather cooperates, stews and soups. "We believe we're the first food bloggers to tackle a food truck," emailed Gapultos. Probably not for long.
Gapultos says that he'd had the idea for a Filipino food truck about a year ago, but thought it was just a "pipe dream" until he started talking to Johnson, whom he met through their blogs and through Twitter, about the concept. Although neither blogger has cooked professionally before, both took some time to work on food trucks to get some experience.
"You don't have to be a gourmet chef to cook Filipino food," emailed Gapultos. "I'm not saying that anyone can do it, because that's furthest from the truth. But being Filipino-Americans, both Nastassia and I have a great passion for what we're doing and we feel an even greater responsibility for bringing this food to Los Angeles. We really think Filipino food can stand on its own in Los Angeles, and we feel there is no better way to make our cuisine more accessible than via a food truck." And being food bloggers has helped, says Gapultos, as they have a built-in audience.