Those attending Salmon Stock this weekend at the Ninilchik Fairgrounds will notice the wonderful aromas produced from The Ramp at Kasilof River food truck.
Steve and Jeanne Maltby, owners of Kasilof River Lodge, bought the mobile food truck in 2011 from The Coho Cove campground near Kasilof and the couple tested their menu items on 20 setnetters on Cohoe Beach earlier this season.
“They raved about it,” he said. “Then we said, ‘Wow we really have something here’,”
This weekend the couple will offer a full menu of local seafood with an “Asian flair.”
The Maltbys attended last weekend’s Concert on the Lawn in Homer with the same menu that included Asian Salmon Tacos with Key Lime Ginger Cream Fraiche, Grilled Halibut Gyros, Chicken Pho, cold sesame noodles and Lori’s Famous Island Fried Chicken.
Jeanne Maltby said she enjoyed the personal aspect of taking the orders and making the food fresh for the customers at the two-day Homer event, their first outing with the food truck.
“The food was very well received,” she said. “It was a great experience.”
For Salmon Stock, the couple is well prepared for the masses. Most menu items will be around $10, including Vietnamese Beef or Chicken Coho Pho soup. There will also be desserts, costing around $3, which include Vermont Whoopie Pies, Double Fudge Brownies and Swedish Kringle, a light almond pastry.
Steve Maltby said many Anchorage food trucks travel to the Salmon Stock event.
“This is what we have been training for,” Steve Maltby said. “To compete with the big boys.”
Another aspect the food truck offers is a guest chef. Chef Lori Hubbard and her husband Paul, of St. Croix, are helping the Maltbys with The Ramp’s menu. Lori Hubbard’s famous island fried chicken is a crowd pleaser that she also makes for her customers at the Blue Water Terrace restaurant in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
“We feel very lucky to have them for our maiden voyage,” Jeanne Maltby said. “I can’t believe how moist this chicken is.”
The couple’s love for Asian cuisine started during their time living in San Francisco. They pride themselves on using seafood purchased from local fishermen and cooking with sustainable ingredients. Next year the couple plans on growing more of their own produce to add to the freshness they offer.
“It reflects what we are about,” Jeanne Maltby said.
While the couple is focused on two special events this summer, they both agree next summer The Ramp at Kasilof River will be out in the community more and introducing area residents to new cuisine. They may offer breakfast and dinner items and they could set up business at different location.
Jeanne said the mobility of the food truck allows the couple to serve area residents something new while they have fun at the same time.
“Every event we do we learn something new,” Jeanne Maltby said.
“It is a culinary adventure,” Steve Maltby added.