It’s hard to miss the PeruChi truck, whether it is parked and serving their unique meals or if it’s driving the streets of San Francisco. The truck’s bright red panels and cartoon faces offer onlookers giant, and endless, smiles – and their food does too.
When people hear ‘food truck’ paper plates of chips soaking in cheese and other assorted snacks often come to mind. This is not the case in the San Francisco food truck culture with many vendors offering alternative, gourmet and occasionally ethnic meals.
The PeruChi food truck is one of many around the bay area. However, they offer a unique twist with their unique fusion of Peruvian and Chinese inspired flavors.
Maricela Lau founded the PeruChi food truck with her parents and partner in August 2014. Having emigrated from Peru, the family serve meals inspired by the Peruvian Chinese flavors they were surrounded by in their home town and their desire to share these tastes.
“I grew up in a culture where we are very Peruvian Chinese orientated” says Lau, “my entire family loves to really share our culture among folk in the states and folks who are not familiar with our food”.
This passion explains the large smiling cartoons splayed across the PeruChi truck panels. The cartoon illustrates the Lau family and their journey from Peru to America. It especially depicts the family centred values at the core of the PeruChi truck.
Not only this, but the cartoon embodies the purpose and message the Lau family want to share through their PeruChi food truck. “[I’m] pulling my dad, all happy because finally he was able to get his truck, his dream come true in the US” says Lau, “[we’re] all going from one country to another to deliver our food and what we love the most”.
For Lau the sharing of her and her family’s culture and food is the most important part of the PeruChi truck. “We want to identify with ourselves that we’re serving the Peruvian food” she says. And not just any Peruvian food, the PeruChi team aim to make traditional Peruvian Chinese food accessible to the San Francisco public the way it would be served in Peru. “To be able to share that experience and making it the right way, and how it’s properly served, really is rewarding for us” says Lau.
With 17 years of experience in the hospitality industry and sharing her families passion for cooking, food has always been a big part of Lau’s life. “The passion of cooking [links] us through generations. from my grandad to my dad and me” Lau says
“I love baking and I love cooking a healthy meal” she continues “so you know you have the passion to really provide good quality food”.
This collective family passion is part of the secret to the PeruChi truck success. To the Lau family the PeruChi truck is a shared dream, and their family identity and Peruvian Chinese culture are crucial elements to what make PeruChi possible. “It’s a family oriented concept where you really need to be able to deliver from a group of family members that have a distinctive flavour or taste” says Lau.
The PeruChi food truck blends effortlessly into the trendy San Francisco culture, offering health orientated and gourmet meals that speak from the heart of the Peruvian culture to share something foreign and special. “We’re so passionate about it” Lau says speaking of PeruChi,
“Overall it’s what we love to do” says Lau, “it’s our passion and we express our passion of our food through how we deliver every single dish that comes out of the truck”.
Find the PeruChi food truck at many ‘Off the Grid’ events or visit their website: http://www.peruchitruck.com
Photo credit: Dominique Tait