Sounds like the title of a Dr. Seuss book, but it's not.
One of the must-do things on my Orlando trip was to visit Ed Bilicki. He currently has his hands in a couple of projects. He is working to open Satava in the spring of 08 and is currently running the Orlando Dan Marino's in the absence of a head chef.
The absolute coolest thing he has though, has got to be his mobile kitchen wagon. It looks like one of those retro airstream silverstream campers from back in the day except that it's plated with shiny new steel. 4 huge propane tanks are bracketed onto the back on both sides of the door to fuel the hot equipment inside. Sounds like a rolling taco stand, right? Wrong. How many guys do you know that have a portable kitchen equipped with a 4 burner stove and combi oven, a fryer, grill, hot water bath for sous-vide applications, a vacuum sealer, a paco-jet, ample amounts of cooler and freezer space, and plenty of work space. It's at least 15 ft long. There is overhead dry storage and wall mounted spice racks.
This is a better hood system than some stationary kitchens have. Everything is stapped down and secured for travelling. This is a guerilla cuisine chef's dream ride. This thing should have been displayed in popsci... maybe go for a polyscience endorsement and bring in a few more toys... Ed has the space. Well, being mobile gives you options. You could always drive around in circles if you want to create a vortex in a beaker without any special equipment.
See... there is a sliding glass window... just in case you did want to sell roadside tacos.
In the kitchen here, which was designed and bought so that Ed could continue to create and cater while waiting for the restaurant to be completed, he showed us a few ideas that he was working on. One of them is 'steakhouse in a test tube,' but I won't tell you exactly what it is... wait for Spring. I can only say that it's a cool thing... Satava will definitely be a must-do in Orlando once it's open.
There is an entire clique of cooks and chefs here that exhault Ed's knowledge and reputation. Although he is no longer affiliated with bluezoo, his name is mentioned constantly. In our conversation, he told me how important it is to leave your mark on a kitchen... no probem for him here. Someone wants to order a burger... don't worry, a burger out of Ed's kitchen will be nothing short of perfect. Ed's ideas linger about and are re-used by everyone here. Why? Because they work, and people love them. If it's not broken, don't fix it. It's easy to create, to think, to imagine, but Ed seems to have an uncanny ability to take ideas from fantasy to reality and have them just make good sense. The effects of this are seen on everything here. So, how was that burger... perfect, good. Do you know why Ed's home-made french fries are so damn perfect? It's not the technique but the potato. He won't tell you though... in fear of diminishing his supply. He somehow did a little kitchen espionage to find a potato that could be cut and fried perfectly with no pre-blancing. What kind of potato is it... if he tells you, he'll have to kill you, cut you up, freeze your body parts in canisters, and puree you in his Paco-Jet. In the mobile kitchen, he packs a variety of specialized ingredients like frozen huitlacoche still on the kernel, interesting spice blends, nitrites... and he uses them. What's he doing with them? You can bet they are not collecting dust. Ed doesn't just collect interesting ingredients... he takes ingredients and makes them interesting. He has the undanting persona of a mentor chef to many. He is the general of an army of cooks who are not even on his payroll.
I used to think that our team of chefs was mafioso... until I met the godfather.
Here are some more specific pic's that Ed sent to me.
The combi oven...
The overhead storage space...
3 compartment sink that also has a secure-fitting lid for travel (can you believe it also has a spray nozzle!?!)...
And a view from the outside showing where the window is...
There it is... enough to make any chef envious. The outside should be painted camo to promote the guerilla cuisine aspect of it. Thanks for the tour, Ed.