Cecil Rhodes, formerly head chef at Bella Bru in Carmichael, is launching food truck Cecil's Taste at Track 7 in Natomas on Wednesday from 5 to 8 p.m.
He has a long culinary resume. In addition to his most recent job at Bella Bru, he's come in first place 3 years in a row at the California State Fair chef competition, and was recently a finalist on Food Network's Cutthroat Kitchen. " I guess I'm the chef people don't know about in this town," he joked.
Chef Rhodes describes his cooking as New American Soul, and "will be focusing on different flavors that are familiar but also made with the love like my grandma used to put in her food," Rhodes wrote in an e-mail.
Here's a little from his bio:
For the first 12 years of his life, Cecil lived in the "Strawberry" manors before his parents made the decision to move to West Gate, in a newer Sacramento development, for a better life.
Starting from humble beginnings and after trying out several part time jobs including pizza delivery driver, a truck loader and working in receiving at a department store warehouse he secured a job in a small, quirky Bistro style Restaurant working the "pantry" station. The restaurant was run by two eclectic men with a fiery tempers but great sense of humor, who frequently got over-excited and argued all around the restaurant. It was here, one day, when the other chef went out sick and the head chef took Cecil under his wing. Cecil picked this up quickly; sparking his passion for food and so began his culinary career. He found food preparation easy and developed a thirst to know more. So, after leaving community college, he decided to attend the California Culinary Academy (CCA) for a certificate in culinary arts.
It was through this program that the spark became a fire and the wheels of his career were set in motion.
Cecil’s career spans many fine establishments, from that fiery Midtown Sacramento Restaurant to the Fog City Diner, San Francisco, Sutro's at Cliff House , San Francisco. He opened Crush 29, Roseville, CA and then Executive Chef at Bella Bru Cafe, Carmichael, CA.
Chef Cecil purchased the truck from the husband and wife team of Stefen Janke and Julie Van Dam, who ran the Asian/Italian Ciao Chow truck.
That truck launched in Dec. 2013, and was sold in early February. The Ciao Chow team have turned their attention to their catering business, Gourmet Solutionz, and Kitchen Kriminal Dinners, which are 6 course chef's choice menu for guests 12 to 18 people in your own home.
In addition to the food truck, Chef Cecil runs OneSoul, a catering company, and Taste on 12th, a memorable event centered on the pairing of Culinary Art and Visual Art. Those are held at Raphael Delgado Art Studio at 12th & S, with the next edition being Sunday, April 12, 2015.
So if you're in Natomas tonight, check out Cecil's Taste at Track 7's new Natomas tasting room. Or keep an eye out and give him a try the next time you see the truck out and about. You can also follow him on Twitter at @ChefCec.
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