Halifax, CAN: Local Food Truck Expanding Its Horizons

Nomad Gourmet founder Nick Horne says the company is rolling into 2013 with a new high-profile chef, a menu makeover and expanded services outside of downtown Halifax.

By Joann Alberstat | TheChronicleHerald.ca

Nomad Gourmet founder Nick Horne says the company is rolling into 2013 with a new high-profile chef, a menu makeover and expanded services outside of downtown Halifax.
Nomad Gourmet founder Nick Horne says the company is rolling into 2013 with a new high-profile chef, a menu makeover and expanded services outside of downtown Halifax.

Nomad Gourmet is on a roll heading into 2013.

The Halifax-area food truck, which has a new high-profile chef in Graeme Ruppel, is getting a menu makeover and will soon be offering service outside of the downtown.

Owner-operator Nick Horne said Monday the changes will help drum up business during the winter months.

“If I can move my business around and serve more people, then that’s better for everybody,” Horne said in an interview while preparing to serve a crowd later that night during New Year’s Eve festivities in the Grand Parade.

Ruppel, formerly of Brooklyn Warehouse and Getaway Meat Mongers, joined Nomad Gourmet shortly before Christmas.

He had been operating a pop-up restaurant, Coastal@Night, in the Coastal Cafe space for the past seven months.

The chef said the biggest change in moving to a gourmet food truck is the type of cuisine he will be creating.

“Previously, I was looking at doing five-course tasting menus. Now it’s much more a sandwich focus, a hand-held focus.”

While he has mostly been busy with the catering side of the business so far, Ruppel is also helping reshape the mobile eatery’s fare.

For instance, a new menu will be offered starting in the next couple of weeks.

Horne said the menu will include a new gourmet burger, as well as a version of Ruppel’s signature fried chicken and waffle dish.

“The popular things are going to stay. But you’ll definitely see some big changes,” said Horne.

The chef won’t reveal what is going to be in new burger, saying the ingredients are still being tested and may change. And the chicken and waffle dish also still needs work, Ruppel said.

“We’re playing around with some ways of making that carryable.”

Besides the new chef and revamped menu, Nomad Gourmet also plans to be on the move more in the Halifax region.

The food truck will soon be adding service in Burnside Park in Dartmouth and possibly a location in Bedford as well.

Nomad Gourmet, which shares the local food-truck scene with Food Wolf, has been operating on Argyle Street since August.

Horne said his vending licence for the spot beside city hall expired Jan. 1 and he is hoping to renew the permit in the next couple of weeks.

But he is also eager to try out some new locations.

“I’ve been doing a lot of legwork the past few months to find these spots. They’re hard to find. It is private property and have to get permission to go on them and then negotiate payment and everything.”

Diners can keep up with Nomad Gourmet’s whereabouts on Twitter at @nomadgourmet and Facebook at facebook/nomadgourmet.

http://thechronicleherald.ca/business/355722-local-food-truck-expanding-its-horizons