Fresh ingredients, homestyle cooking featured at roadside food truck Tom’s Kitchen | Ha-Shilth-Sa Newspaper

Fresh ingredients, homestyle cooking featured at roadside food truck Tom’s Kitchen

Port Alberni, BC

Homestyle food that elicits memories of grandma’s kitchen – that’s what Hupacasath’s Tom Tatoosh aims for in his newly launched food truck business, and he is quickly gaining word-of-mouth promotion thanks to his delicious menu offerings.

Besides the standard food truck staples like burgers and fries, Tatoosh offers First Nations favorites like fried bread, fish soup and his cheeky ‘hangover soup’ which he says is a hamburger/vegetable combination. He also offers house chili, hot dogs and homestyle burgers served with a grilled slice of pineapple.

Born and raised in his Hupacasath home in Port Alberni, Tatoosh is a lifelong fisherman and has worked more than 30 years at the Robertson Creek Fish Hatchery. But Tatoosh says that fishing alone hasn’t been cutting it and he was struggling to make ends meet.

“I’m a self-made home cook,” said Tatoosh, adding that he hasn’t had professional training.

He said he began having stomach issues several years ago and had to adjust his diet.

“I had to eat the food my kids grew up on, flavors my belly could handle.”

He loved cooking for his now grown three children and now cooks for his grandchildren.

When fishing slowed down and money grew scarce, Tatoosh decided it was time to start a new adventure.

“I stopped talking about it and finally did it,” he said.

Tatoosh sources as much of his ingredients locally as possible.

“I buy my potatoes direct from the farmer,” said Tatoosh, adding that its important to make sure he gets large size potatoes to make his fresh-cut fries.

Serving breakfast until 2 p.m., Tom offers full offerings complete with eggs, sausage, hashbrowns and fried bread. Or you can try his blueberry pancakes. The blueberries, Tom says, come from the blueberry fields behind his food truck.

He buys fish from local fishermen that’s frozen until needed.

His weekend special is a spicy stir fry over rice inspired by his Aunty Sadie’s recipe. He calls it chicken DoBo.

“It has flavors like a hot and sour soup without the sour,” said Tatoosh.

Tom loves to hear the rave reviews he’s getting about his food.

“Not bad for a fisherman,” he grins.

Tom’s Kitchen prices are reasonable, but he worries about the rising cost of food. At this time, he is a cash- only business, but he said everyone likes that the food is tax-free since the business is located on reserve.

Tom’s Kitchen is at 5323 River Road and open from Tuesday to Saturday.

“I open at 10:00 Indian Time and I close precisely at 6,” he laughed.

To see what’s on the menu for dinner, check Tom’s Kitchen on Facebook or Instagram.

Share this: