Quentin Leopold has just opened a food truck specializing in Mexican cuisine. The Alsatian will skim the holidays, such as the Guinguette on Sunday, June 9. It is also planning to move to several car parks in the southern zone.
The boy is the type who likes to travel. Younger, in another life, Quentin Leopold was a sailor. He also kept an anchor tattooed on his left arm.
After studying at Illkirch-Graffenstaden hotel school, he left on a boat, to Kourou, then to Denmark. It couldn’t have been moving enough or getting hot enough, but he decided to win Mexico.
Why? It sounded nice to me, he says. I had never been there before; it seemed to me that there was a lot to discover, a good culture.
I felt like I was starting from scratch.
He stayed there for a year and a half, met his future wife, Martha. He also discovers a cuisine that he never imagined so tasty, far removed from the cliches conveyed. “We start with concrete ideas, which are not particularly desirable, then we realise that the reality is quite different and significantly much better.
There, the young man takes the time to get to know the real, local products, techniques he was unaware of.
It’s a different way of cooking; I felt like I was starting over from scratch, with ancient practices sometimes, sometimes baked in the oven, for example.
Everything seems to change to him, like those products he was not used to using, such as green tomatoes or this corn which displays so many colours, from blue to red, not to mention the yellow and white that he already knew.
For each region, there is a new tradition. There are also these dishes that he cooks differently there, such as carambola: In France, it mainly used as a decoration for cocktails.
He didn’t know it, but the hibiscus flower eat, and it’s right, it seems. “I got to know different tastes which are hard to compare with what we know here. And not necessarily healthy elsewhere.
In France, Mexican cuisine is confused with Tex-Mex.
Insects worms and larvae sometimes incorporated into dishes. And the peppers? There are, of course. Most of all, I discovered the real taste of certain products. In France, Mexican cuisine is confused with Tex-Mex, which is much fatter. What is eaten in Mexico has nothing to do with it.
Conquered by the goodness of Mexico, the Alsatian has just launched a Mexican food truck called Veracruz. He could have stayed there, opened a French table, but there are already quite a few.
So he returned to the country, to Selestat where it all started. The question arose of opening a restaurant, but the risk seemed great.
There are too many costs incurred if it doesn’t work. It remains an unknown kitchen. With the banks, we don’t have the same reception either: a truck is a less scary smile.
Indeed, the food truck is mobile; it can adapt to the clientele. For the past few weeks, he has been hiring out his catering services for one or other events, such as the Guinguette on Sunday, June 9, at Place d’Armes in Sélestat.
From June 11, it will install in car parks, in the south Michelsonne and north Connexion zones as well as at Entzheim airport. The changing times can follow on the dedicated Facebook, and Instagram accounts Veracruz cuisine.
There is a place to take. Anyway, after everything you do, you have to get started, and already to see if it is viable.
Tacos, burritos, nachos.
The four-wheeler is second-hand – this still limits the risks, we will serve Mexican tacos – corn with pork or vegetable, burritos – with rice and black beans, nachos and guacamole, maybe soup with corn, corn chips, cactus, chili to add flavour. What we want is to blow up the clichés.
WHY THIS NAME?
This food truck is called Veracruz, on Facebook, the case registered under that name. But why this name? It’s a Mexican state; my wife is from it. The port was colonized by the French, under Napoleon III. France has had a strong influence on this city, says Quentin Leopold.