Fine dining chefs jumping ship to sell casual, comfort food is not just a trend that started in the past year. Chef Hiro Nagahara, formerly chef de cuisine at Bar Charlie (Charlie Trotter) in Las Vegas worked with Mobi Munch to start The Chairman Truck in 2009, selling chinese steamed buns with unique, high end fillings like spiced duck confit in San Francisco.
(The Chairman was originally named The Chairman Bao, but then they got sued by Baohaus in NY since "chairman bao" was apparently the first item on their menu. Gotta admit, it's such a catchy name.)
1st bao: Tender Pork Belly with Pickled Daikon
The pork belly was tender, not overly fatty, and the crunchy, tart, pickled daikon was the perfect accompaniment to cut the richness. The daikon is, of course, pickled in-house ("in-truck"?)
The 2nd bao is a spinoff of korean spicy chicken: Spicy Red Sesame Chicken with pickled cucumber and carrots
The third is their vegetarian offering: Red miso cured tofu/ Crispy garlic tofu with miso Chinese greens
Next, another pork. This time it's a Pulled pork with savoy cabbage and preserved mustard seeds.
Our last bun is the Chinese Spiced Duck Confit with Fresh Mango Salad.
They had a special treat for us that night with the help of visiting pastry chef Chris Guzman (left) who used to work together with Chef Hiro (right) at Trotter.
Chef Hiro has been hard at work to create a gluten-free flour that tastes great, and based on the gluten-free chocolate cupcakes we had that night, he has succeeded! It was one of the best, most decadent cupcakes I've had ... and it's gluten free?? I brought one home for my gluten-intolerant roommate and she loved it.
Some petit fours for us to take home: Passionfruit caramel, Dark chocolate Earl grey lavender truffle, Huckleberry fennel marshmallow, and Pecan pie pate de fruit.
1200 7th Street
San Francisco, CA 94107
Disclosure: this tasting was hosted