FoodTruckr Heroes: Chef Joe Youkhan’s Tasting Spoon

Truth time: the food truck industry isn’t for the lazy or weak of heart.

Notoriously restrictive local laws make it tough to even get a truck up and running.  Then, if you manage to open a food truck, you’ll be working long hours and grueling shifts to bring in even small profits.  Doing okay and bringing in regular income from your truck?  Well, you still have to compete with other food trucks and local brick and mortar restaurants to attract enough customers to make your business sustainable over the long-term.

It’s a tough game, and not everyone is up to the challenge.  But our latest FoodTruckr Hero, Chef Joe Youkhan, most certainly is.

Joe runs Chef Joe Youkhan’s Tasting Spoon, a gourmet food truck and catering business in southern California.  Though Chef Joe has a pretty impressive culinary background (he worked as an Executive Chef in the events and catering division of the Ritz-Carlton, served as a Corporate Executive Chef at Chat Noir, and has even appeared on the Cooking Channel’s “Eat St.” and Food Network’s “Chopped”), it’s his deep engagement in the food truck community that has earned him a spot on our list of FoodTruckr Heroes.

See, to be a successful food truck owner holding your own amidst tough competition and stressful working conditions, you have to be willing to go the extra mile in every aspect of your business.  Chef Joe exemplifies this lesson.  From his carefully crafted recipes to his frequent participation in local events, Joe knows that running a food truck isn’t just a job—it’s a lifestyle.

You May Also Like...  Throwback Thursday: A Look Back At FoodTruckr's Most Popular Article Of All Time

There are, of course, innumerable factors that go into running a successful food truck business, so we’ll just highlight a few of the things that Chef Joe is doing oh so right:

1. Community Involvement

Sure, you can make a living by having regular truck stops and a pretty stable routine around the city—but you can really take your truck to the next level by getting involved in community events and festivals.

During the month of April alone, Chef Joe served at a radio fundraiser, WonderCon, the Newport Beach Food and Wine Festival, a “Spring Fling” carnival event, and a yacht show.  He also served on the judging panel at Kid Healthy, a program dedicated to fighting childhood obesity.  Chef Joe’s involvement in the local community allows him to connect with fans and has helped him build a reputation as a committed, passionate truck owner.

2. Sharing Stories

We believe that sharing your personal story is one of the best ways to connect with fans.  Sharing your story can take many forms—some food truck owners right in-depth bios on their sites, others explain the origins of their truck’s name, and many post photos and updates from their lives alongside their upcoming locations.

Chef Joe lets fans get to know him through the “About” page on his website.  Here, we have the chance to learn about Joe’s culinary background and the origins of his truck, but we also get a glimpse of what inspired him to take this path—he “grew up in a culinary environment” and frequently enjoyed “his Nana’s home cooked family meals in New York.”  We also learn a little about his personal life in the “Interesting Tidbits” section—turns out that Chef Joe once had a small role in a Jennifer Love-Hewitt movie and has a black belt in Eagle Claw Kung Fu and a 2nd degree purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu!

You May Also Like...  The Great Food Truck Race: How It Works and What You Can Learn

3. Incredible Food

At the end of the day, food truck success stories are really all based around the food, and Chef Joe Youkhan’s Tasting Spoon is no exception.  He receives regular rave reviews from his fans, and has received a number of prestigious awards over the past 10 years.  Here’s what Chef Joe has to say about his cooking:

“A lot of what I do is taking any ingredient and try to maximize its flavor and texture potential.  So even if it’s ‘just’ mashed potatoes, you’ll eat it and say to yourself—WOW, these are the most insane mashed potatoes I’ve ever eaten, how did you do that?  I enjoy the simplicity of the final product; even though it may be a complicated process of butchering, brining, cold smoking, and finally grilled and glazed.  Then you have my Signature Pork Chops.  To my guests, they may appear like “just a pork chop” until they eat it and realize it’s the best pork chop they’ve ever eaten.”

Talk about true commitment to the craft!  Plus, aren’t you hungry for a juicy grilled pork chop and some of those awesomely flavorful mashed potatoes just after reading that description?

By staying truly involved and giving 110% in every aspect of his business, Chef Joe has already made a huge impression on thousands of hungry, loyal fans.  He’s a great example for food truck owners who want to get more involved in their communities, and an inspiration to all of you who are working to open your own food trucks now!  Keep up the great work, Joe!  We’re so excited to name you as our latest FoodTruckr Hero and we can’t wait to see what you’ll do next.

You May Also Like...  FoodTruckr Heroes: King of Pops

image from Chef Joe Youkhan’s Tasting Spoon Facebook page

Recently on FoodTruckr

3 FoodTruckr Articles That Will Help Owners Out With Customer Service Without customers, you wouldn't be in business. As a result, you and your food truck team should cherish your customers, and do everything possible to make your business' customer service game as g...
This Food Truck Business Marketing Video Provides Excellent Tips For Growth Life in the food truck industry can be very troublesome from time to time. While some people might think it is a get-rich-quick scheme, others -- you know, the folks who have actually started their ow...
What Are You Willing To Give Up To Make Your Food Truck Dreams Come True? Editor’s Note: Today we’re excited to present a post from Jeremy Adams. Jeremy is the President/CEO of Prestige Food Trucks, which is the world's leading custom food truck manufacturer. In his current...
3 Keys To Food Truck Success In 2018 Editor’s Note: Today we’re excited to present a post from Jeremy Adams. Jeremy is the President/CEO of Prestige Food Trucks, which is the world's leading custom food truck manufacturer. In his current...
How to Run a Food Truck 20: Improve Your Social Media Outreach It’s time to continue onward with Unit 5 of the “How to Run a Food Truck” series! Today, we bring you more marketing strategies for advanced food truck owners with an all-new lesson on connecting with...
Inspiring Quotes For Food Truck Owners Everyone looks for inspiration. Whether it is daily, once a month or longer than that, we all need motivation, and we look to others for said motivation. That is why inspiring quotes are so important,...
Top Tips From The General Manager Of A Successful Food Truck Editor’s Note: Today we’re excited to present a post from Tori Galatro. Tori is a blogger, copywriter, and SEO outreach manager based in Austin, Texas. Her favorite things to write about are film, foo...
Flashback Friday: A Look Back At FoodTruckr’s First Article Of 2017 In this week's edition of Flashback Friday, we are going to go back to the first of the year. That's right, we are going to take a look at our first article of 2017. Here's the title of it: Lessons...
Flashback Friday: Deliver Excellent Customer Service At Your Food Truck As many food truck owners likely already know, quality customer service is a must-have at any mobile kitchen business (and business in general). Therefore, we will pose this question: How's your cu...
FoodTruckr Heroes: I Love My GFF Today’s FoodTruckr Hero is on an admirable mission to make healthy, natural foods accessible to everyone—and we totally support their goals. Meet I Love My GFF, a Seattle-based food cart that serves g...
How to Run a Food Truck 06: Handle Customer Disputes Last week on “How to Run a Food Truck,” we covered one of the most important topics we’ve ever written about here on FoodTruckr—how to deliver excellent service to your customers. Good customer servic...
FoodTruckr Heroes: Food Trucks for Freedom In honor of Memorial Day, we’re excited to announce a very special FoodTruckr Hero: Food Trucks for Freedom, a non-profit organization committed to helping veterans reintegrate into civilian life afte...
FoodTruckr Heroes: The World’s Largest Food Truck Rally What’s better than a food truck festival that brings a ton of tasty trucks together in one place?  Admittedly, that’s a bit of a trick question!  There’s nothing better—except for a food truck fest...
3 Ways To Make More Time In The Food Truck Industry For Business Owners Editor’s Note: Today we’re excited to present a post from Jeremy Adams. Jeremy is the President/CEO of Prestige Food Trucks, which is the world's leading custom food truck manufacturer. In his current...
It’s Time To Get Really Serious About Your Yearly Food Truck Goals If you can believe it, it's already November, which, of course, means December is right around the corner, and you know what that means... It means a couple of different things: (1) It means the ho...

About the Author

Nicole Farley

Nicole Farley is the Managing Editor at FoodTruckr and a food truck aficionado. A graduate of The University of Kansas, she loves writing, business development, connecting with food truck owners, and cheering for the Jayhawks. Connect with Nicole on the FoodTruckr Facebook page or email her at [email protected]

Love it? Share it: Share on Facebook Share on Twitter