Rolling out a new food truck in February in Colorado is an iffy proposition, but it helps if you're peddling hot soups and stews. Hoof, Wing & Fin kicked off its first day of business last Thursday at Cerebral Brewing in the midst of a hard-driving snowstorm, but still managed to draw plenty of customers, according to chef/co-owner Brett Langstaff. He and fellow chef Greg Loonie built a menu afloat with bone broth as well as charcuterie, stews and other dishes that result from whole-animal butchery.
Langstaff and Loonie met while cooking at restaurants in New York City and realized that they shared a passion for high-quality meats. After relocating to Colorado, the two came up with the idea for a food truck where they could showcase products that you would normally find in French butcher shops: fresh-made sausage, mousses and pâtés made from liver, buns with marrow butter baked in, and broths made from all the resulting bones and trimmings.
"What's important to us is that everything is grass-fed and grass-finished," Langstaff explains. While working in restaurants, he and Loonie ran into plenty of products that were either corn-finished or that claimed to be local and sustainable but were of questionable provenance. Here in Colorado, they're sourcing meat from local farms and working with the producers to purchase the animals while they're still alive, thus ensuring a steady supply. Then they use as much of the animal as they can, serving the likes of sweetbreads, kielbasa, mortadella, beef pâté and chicken-liver mousse in a rotating selection of charcuterie, all served with grilled bread from Babettes Bakery.
Other menu items will follow the seasons, so salads and other vegetable dishes will be added in the summer, along with refreshing shrubs: vinegar-based drinks made with fresh fruits and herbs. But the broths will be on the menu year-round, beginning with beef or vegetable, to which customers can add poached eggs, meatballs and healthy ingredients like turmeric, ginger, mushroom extracts (chaga and reishi), MCT oil and collagen. Langstaff says he also plans to add chicken and pork broth as well as Colorado-themed game broths like duck, bison and venison.
The chefs have also launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $8,400 for truck maintenance and to help launch a line of products that Hoof, Wing & Fin can sell to other retail locations, so that breweries, for example, can serve charcuterie boards even when the truck isn't present. Right now, the truck also sells frozen quarts of bone broth that customers can take home, but Langstaff says he'd like to expand the availability well beyond the mobile kitchen.
For the month of March, you can catch up to Hoof, Wing & Fin for dinner on Mondays — starting tonight — at Little Machine, on Thursdays at Our Mutual Friend, on Fridays at Goldspot Brewing and on Saturdays at Cerebral. Later this spring, Langstaff and Loonie hope to add lunch destinations as well.
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