By JoVona Taylor
July 24, 2013
A food truck option specializing in Creole and Cajun cuisine is on its way, but before making its debut on the streets of Chicago this fall, The Great Louisiana Geaux Geaux Truck hosted a sneak preview of a few of its menu items at The Garage in West Loop on Wednesday.
The Great Louisiana Geaux Geaux Truck is the creation of chef/owner Andre Mika, a 46-year-old Streeterville resident and television producer by day, inspired by food of his childhood growing up in Baton Rouge, La.
Although new to the food truck business, this isn’t Mika’s first attempt at bringing his down-home cooking to Chicago. He and his wife owned a popular Louisiana-inspired restaurant in River North called Beignet's Louisiana Kitchen in the early '90s, which they eventually sold in order to relocate to Los Angeles.
After making his mark in the television industry and opening a second restaurant, The Lava Room, in his hometown (which was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005), Mika is back in Chicago and ready to bring authentic Louisiana-style cooking to the city once again.
“We’re the only place in the greater Chicagoland area doing this type of food and bringing this level of authentic Louisiana to the city,” Mika said.
He also said that there is a natural bond between Louisiana and Chicago, which is why the Louisiana Department of Tourism thought it would be a good idea to become partners of the Geaux Geaux Truck and use it as a promotional tool. Mika said that the food truck will have brochures with information and helpful tips on planning a trip to Louisiana, along with announcements on festivals, special events and other things going on in the state.
The Geaux Geaux Truck will feature dishes made with seafood, sausage and camelia red beans shipped in from Louisiana. “People who have been to Louisiana and have had the authentically made food know the taste,” he said. “The key to recreating the flavor and quality of those dishes and is to use the same ingredients.”
Preview dishes included chicken and green onion sausage jambalaya, red beans and rice with ham, fried catfish poboys, smothered okra with sweet shrimp and maple bread pudding.
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