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Spotlight on: Verde Food Truck

When your kitchen is roughly 120 square feet of floor space, you don’t have the luxury of stocking up on a multitude of supplies and equipment like you would in a traditional commercial kitchen. This means a food truck chef is forever discerning of every item that makes it on the truck; every single kitchen tool on your truck must be accounted for and assessed for its overall usefulness, down to the last stainless steel tong and griddle scraper, like these highly popular ones from Vollrath.

It all starts with a menu

Due to space limitations, food truck operators should first consider the food. Your menu will dictate the tools you’ll need to execute the dishes. Interested in dishing up fried favorites like sweet potato fries? Or maybe you’re ready to serve the finest Cuban sandwich around a la Jon Favreu’s “El Jefe” character in “Chef”. When crafting your menu, consider the prep time involved and how easy it is to execute on the truck with limited resources. Some trucks offer a variety of items while others focus on 5 or less seasonal favorites.

Whatever you decide to specialize in, remember to keep it simple to execute. And be sure to equip your mobile kitchen with the fryers, Panini grills, and other equipment you’ll need to create outstanding dishes in record time.

The food is where it all started for Verde, a local food truck favorite who just opened their first brick-and-mortar 8 months ago. “We wanted to bring good Mexican food to Colorado,” says Verde chef and owner John Michael Sethney, originally from Arizona. “We have a scratch kitchen and try to make everything in-house including our salsa, guac, corn tortillas and meats. Our meats are all slow-braised 12-14 hours overnight.” The low and slow approach works for Verde, who can serve up to 100 entrees in an hour during a rush.

Since the winter of 2010, Verde has operated its food truck around the expansive Northern Colorado region. From servicing large events like the Summer Concert Series in Denver to catered events like weddings, parties and neighborhood events, Verde still maintains a regular day-to-day lunch service around the Boulder, CO area; at Tundra Restaurant Supply we’re lucky enough to be located near one of their regular stops.

Verde Food Truck in Boulder, Colorado

Verde Food Truck | © Natalie Fauble

Verde Food Truck in Boulder

Verde owners KAC Slager, John Michael Sethney, TJ Ingraham and Chris Ingraham | © Verde Photo

Proper execution is paramount

So you know what you want to cook, but what tools do you need? Here’s a quick checklist supplies and equipment you’ll want for your truck:

  • Cooking tools (we like the quality and durability of these tools from Vollrath) –  spatulas, chef knife, spoons, tongs
  • Prep bowls
  • Food storage products – think foil, saran wrap, plastic bags
  • Food-safe handling gloves
  • Dishes and utensils – try compostable products for a eco-friendly alternative
  • Cleaning products – trash bags, degreasing products, dish soap, etc.

And big ticket items like equipment? Stick to the essentials.

Verde’s menu consists of traditional Mexican favorites like burritos, tacos and quesadillas which are easy to execute with a good griddle and steam table. “We have an oven, but we rarely use it because it can get pretty hot in the truck,” says Sethney. “Since we slow-braise our meats, our steam table pans are great for keeping meats warm and ready to serve.”  Next to quality, speed is crucial when it comes to food trucks. Lines can build up quickly, and customers expect their food quickly and just as tasty as the first time they ordered it.

Once you perfect your menu, you’ll find a standout dish or two that’s really your call to fame. In Verde’s case, it’s their signature California burrito. Made with carne asada, home style potatoes, cheese and guacamole, the California burrito is one of their most popular dishes. As your food truck grows in popularity, having a signature menu item will help differentiate yourself from other local operations.

Above all, operating a food truck takes passion. Working in small, hot kitchens require discipline—and the job certainly isn’t for the faint of heart. Just remember to love what you do, and do what you love.

If you’re in the Boulder area, be sure to visit Verde at their restaurant located at 3070 28th St (Unit B), or check them out on Facebook and Twitter (@VerdeFoodTruck) to find out where the truck is. Interested in their catering options? Check out their website for more catering details »

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Artisan French Wood Fired Pizza … in Colorado [Video]

Before I moved to Boulder, I once waited in line for over an hour to get a table at a restaurant that was claimed by many Portlanders and food critics alike to offer the best wood-fired pizza in the state of Oregon. Leaving such a foodie city, and one often listed as among the best in the world for street food, I wasn’t holding my breath for my next taste of rustic European pizza. 

Imagine my surprise when I ran across Sebastien Idee, a French chef long involved in not only cooking amazing wood-fired pizza, but building the ovens as well. In this video, Seb explains his businesses, Seb’s Portable Wood Fired Cuisine and Rocky Mountain Wood Fired Ovens, and how he is using them to bring artisan French wood-fired pizza to the streets of Colorado. 



Special thanks to American Metalcraft.

Find your own pizza supplies here!



Hi there. My name is Seb. I’m the owner and chef of Seb’s Wood Fired Pizza. Basically what we do with this food truck and the open trailer; we do catering services like wood-fired cuisine. For lunch for businesses, corporates; and evenings, like food truck events, private parties, weddings; all this kind of stuff.

To do so, I use this eight-by-eighteen pizza trailer with a fifty-one-inch pizza oven, wood-fired oven that we build with our other company, which is the Rocky Mountain Wood Fire Oven’s and Trailers.

Now we’re going to go through the process of pizza-making in this oven. Basically we do the dough at the commissary kitchen early in the morning. The dough recipe is kind of pretty basic, but we only use the starter, the yeast, the salt and organic flour, and I mix two different kinds of flour so I got a really precise range of gluten.

As soon as the dough is ready, the oven is ready; we can start. The very unique thing about these kinds of ovens is the principle of refractory heat. Basically the heat comes from everywhere. The floor, the dome, the sides; everywhere, so you have a very balanced cooking.

How do we start to heat up the oven is my trick. I put the wood on that side and I start the fire and if one area of the oven or the floor is cooler, which happens sometimes, I use the propane to heat up this spot.

Let’s make a pizza. We’re going to make a French-style pizza. We’ll start with the dough. Take the dough ball, dip the dough ball in the flour; different techniques about dough-shaping, pizza-making.

My technique is I want to get rid of the air that’s in the dough one side, just in the middle, so I keep the edges. Both sides like that, quickly.

Then I’m going to start to stretch the edges. We are getting there. The pizza we’re going to make today is a French-style pizza; you’ll see why.

I’m going to start with a fresh; crème fraiche, which is kind of sour cream but thicker. French, so better.  I have organic potatoes that’s previously cooked in the oven. Pre-cooked in the oven. I’m going to put on top of the pizza. 

We do put some onions; it’s very important that they are very thin-sliced so they cook better. Same thing with the bacon. You need to cook to slice the bacon when it’s frozen so it’s easier to slice it very thin, so it cooks better. Like that. Everywhere. Then the French touch is French brie on top of everything; so the brie melts on everything.

Try to keep the bacon and onions open, so they cook pretty well. Now using this American metal craft pizza peel I’m going to put the pizza in the oven. Just a little bit of flour. You won’t have to do that if you do many pizzas in a row. Then we put the pizza in the oven. Going to add a little bit more wood to make it faster. Right there. See?

I, usually I cook the pizzas; I mean the oven is at 750-degrees, 800-degrees, the pizza cooks in one minute and a half. I use this kind of peel a smaller peel from American Metal Craft, as well, to turn the pizzas.

Now the pizza is ready and the fastest way to cut the pizza is I think that these tools are just amazing. This knife from American Metalcraft is just amazing because this; just see. One, two, three, four. Very fast.

Then I can use the knife to drop the pizza on the plate just like here. Then the pizza is ready for the customers.

Okay, guys, thanks for watching this video we really appreciate it. Showing us how we deal with our pizza trucks; pizza making. I hope you learned a lot of things.

Don’t hesitate to come like us on our website Seb’s Portable Wood Fire Cuisine or the Rocky Mountain Wood Fire Ovens and Trailers.

Thanks for American Metalcraft for providing these tools. We love them we use them every day and they are just great.

Thanks again, guys, and take care.


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