By Jacob Pucci | Syracuse.com
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The Chef & The Cook restaurant in Baldwinsville has three chefs, and now, it has three ways to feed hungry customers.
Chefs and co-owners Jason Jessmore and husband-and-wife DeAnna and Mark Germano launched The Chef & The Sea in early July, complementing the restaurant’s smaller Chef4Rent food truck. As the name and the truck’s underwater motif imply, seafood is the specialty.
Like the menu at the restaurant, the menu on the food truck is divided into two halves: The Captain’s Menu and The Crew’s Menu—both of which change seasonally. The captain side offers some bolder offerings, such as New Orleans-style seafood boils, shrimp étouffée and a lobster burger served on a double-decker, Big Mac-style bun. Fish and chips, Cajun crab macaroni and cheese, shrimp fried rice and other classic dishes highlight the crew side.
All the dishes are cooked to order—an impressive feat considering the length of the menu and the space restrictions of the mobile kitchen.
“We don’t let anything limit us,” DeAnna Germano said. “Space limitations or not, I can do whatever I want.”
The truck took around 17 weeks to build, but for those first 15 weeks, seafood wasn’t the focus. The truck was originally going to be named The Chef & The Truck and would essentially serve as an extension of the sit-down restaurant with similar dishes. But one night, DeAnna was at home painting a picture of a fish for her son and talking with Mark about the food truck when the idea for the seafood truck clicked.
“It all fell into place at that moment,” Germano said.
After struggling for weeks to come up with a menu for the new truck, the team was able to craft an entirely new menu and design the aquatic wrap for the outside of the truck within two weeks. For the Long Island native who grew up along the water, seafood was a natural fit.
The truck regularly sets up at the Everson Museum, Clinton Square and Inner Harbor—”a little bit of everywhere,” Germano said.
So far, the response has been positive.
“People have told us they’ve been waiting all day to get our food,” Germano said.