Will Big Truck Tacos Open the Door for Oklahoma City?
A funny thing happened to Big Truck Tacos owners Cally Johnson, Kathryn Mathis and Chris Lower on their way to opening a gourmet taqueria with a mobile kitchen: The world took notice.
And now they’ve got 10 grand and a date with Food Network’s “Great Food Truck Race” to show for it.
Of course, the world is a much smaller place than it was 15 years ago. With Facebook and Twitter to bind us, you can fall in love without ever meeting face-to-face. And that’s just what happened to Big Truck as embodied by the 12,000-plus Facebook friends and 4,000-plus Twitter followers who helped vote them into this spot at the end of the rainbow.
I can’t think of a more ironic representation for Oklahoma City. These two unlikely ladies — Cally from Cali, Kathryn from Guymon — and Chris Lower, who has spent his career developing the city’s most important spots for fine dining. Two classically trained chefs and a high-end restaurateur who decided that tacos were the answer. (Hey, I’ve been saying that since I was five.)
And now they’re going to be on the big stage, and the viewing audience outside of our region will likely doubt the legitimacy of a truck from Okie City. If their competitors take them for granted, the last thing they’re likely to see is the tail lights of the BTTmobile.
On Sunday, another of BTT co-owner Chris Lower’s co-owned concepts: Irma’s Burger Shack hosted a watch party for the big announcement. Linda Lee, one of Lower’s myriad of business partners, had the place completely under control. I don’t think I’ve ever drawn such seemless service under such chaotic conditions.
The place was packed. Spirits were high. Expectations even higher.
What Oklahoma lacks in respect outside its borders is more than made up for by local pride. When Rick Bayless, an Oklahoma City native, won the “Top Chef Masters” competition in summer of 09, folks in these parts went wild. And that was for a guy who hasn’t lived in Oklahoma in three decades.
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