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All We Can Eat
Posted at 07:00 AM ET, 04/12/2012

Former Yin Yankee toque launches Chef Driven truck

Jerry Trice, a former brick-and-mortar chef, is now mobile with Chef Driven. (Tim Carman/The Washington Post)
Right there in black marker on the side of the vehicle, it says the man behind Chef Driven DC was rescued by the Coast Guard and now runs this new food truck on the streets of Washington.

Jerry Trice was indeed rescued by the Coast Guard, a truck assistant tells me while the Saved Man prepares my meal. Trice was about 80 miles north of Puerto Rico when his friend’s million-dollar catamaran hit a reef and sunk, the assistant continues. The men were stranded for hours before the Coast Guard came to their aid, he adds. Scary stuff, no doubt.

It makes for a good story, of course, but I suspect it has little to do with Trice’s decision to launch Chef Driven, which hit the streets last week. Trice, after all, is a professionally trained chef with a nose for trends. You might remember him as the executive chef at the now-shuttered Yin Yankee in Annapolis and, for a sneeze, in Bethesda.

The beef skewers were an improvisational bite based on leftover ingredients, but the dish was killer. (Tim Carman/The Washington Post)
Trice’s concise menu runs about four items long and leans on Asian flavors, though he also had a Brazilian tomato soup and a shrimp saffron risotto available on the day I visited. Maybe I should say he did have those dishes available — they were both sold out by the time I arrived.

All he had left for me — his last customer of the day at 2 p.m. — were a few stray leftover beef skewers, which I sprinkled with a chili-infused fish sauce and Sriracha (in a word: killer!) and a shrimp tom yum soup (decent, although it was neither hot nor sour enough for me).

Still, I think this truck has the potential to become one of the elite mobile purveyors in the District. But clearly I need to try Chef Driven several more times before reaching that decision. Here’s one way I think Trice could be a cut above the rest: He apparently makes his risotto to order on the truck.

So said the chatty assistant who told me the Coast Guard story.

By  |  07:00 AM ET, 04/12/2012

Tags:  Tim Carman

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