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After sampling different flavors around the city I try to find other things to excite my taste buds. “Where you at Matt” food truck is a local fan favorite. After stopping by to eat some delicious food I talked to the owner Matt and asked him a few questions.

What is your name?

Matthew Lewis

What your facebook or twitter handle?

@whereyaatmatt, facebook.com

What is creole food? What kind of spices do you use? Describe the taste and what creole food means to you?

Creole food originated in the heart of New Orleans, influenced by refined European cultures such as Italy, France and Spain. Drawing from classical techniques and spices, the style of cooking started in the plantations of Louisiana. Creole is also influenced by the African culture through the slave trade. For example, gumbo means okra in one of the African dialects. Traditional Creole cooking is characterized by the holy trinity (chopped onion, bell peppers and celery), citrus marinades, use of rice and beans. A traditional Creole spice mix incorporates paprika, thyme, cayenne, oregano, garlic and onion powder. I have my own secret seasoning mix of spices I use in our gumbo, jambalaya and red beans n rice which I won’t reveal. The taste is complex, a bit spicy and satisfying. Creole represents a culture, history and tradition in NOLA. It’s soul food, food you live to eat.

Now that we got the hard questions out of the way, how did you come up with the concept of a creole food truck?

I wanted to cook the food I love, it’s my tradition, background and culture. A truck was the best investment for me as well as the opportunity to bring authentic NOLA street food to Seattle.

What is like cooking on the truck?

It’s fun! We have a great time, but of course a great deal of work, the truck is outfitted so we can provide the best quality possible to our customers. in addition to the assembly of food and cooking on the truck, a tremendous amount of preparation is done offsite. We make almost all of the food we serve down to the mayonnaise on the po’boys and the andouille sausage in the gumbo and jambalaya. The truck is where all of the hard work comes together. Plus, it’s the best part, we get to feed people.

What made you want to bring New Orleans food to Seattle?

After coming to Seattle and cooking in high-end restaurants, I wanted to go back to my roots, which is no question Creole. Our food is creole soul, it’s the food rich with history and tradition. No one else in Seattle serves that kind of cuisine making this a great opportunity. Combining with Seattle’s commitment to local and sustainable, it’s really a natural fit.

Are you from New Orleans or do you just like New Orleans food?

Absolutely, my family is from NOLA. I started cooking in the kitchen with my mom and grandmother at a young age. I lived in NOLA for over 18 years.

What’s your favorite dish out of all the things you serve?

Everything, but especially the jambalaya. It’s a family recipe.
What is your favorite creole dish that isn’t on your menu?

Do you switch up your menu? If so, how often?

We have our mainstays on the menu- the po’boys, gumbo, jambalaya, red beans n rice, shirmp n grits, beignets and of course the muffaletta. One “special” that moonlights on the menu is the smothered chicken. We just added cornbread, pecan pie and sweet potato pie from a local producer and friend of the truck, Samadhi Chocolates.

Do you have any weekly, holiday, or seasonal food specials?

Leading up to Lent, we offered King Cake, a New Orleans Mardi Gras tradition complete with the baby.

What is the price range of your menu?

Prices start at $4 to $12. We offered half and full portions of the gumbo, jambalaya and shrimp n grits. We want to keep prices affordable since it’s lunch. Our portions are generous while remaining committed to quality.

How did you decide upon the weekly route you have?

Our route is set for the week however depending on opportunities and special events we may switch it up. I’m currently looking to add an Eastside location, but that’s still a work in progress.

How often do you change route?

We don’t change our route often, we like to keep it consistent for our customers, it’s important to build relationships and cultivate a community around the truck. We keep to our schedule. We did add Tuesday at Starbucks Headquarters in SoDo recently joining other food trucks while their cafeteria is under renovation, we expect to be there through the fall.

Can we look forward to a 2nd Where Ya At Matt food truck?

Not at this time, the one truck keeps me busy enough but we are expanding our catering business and other possibilities.

How can people find your truck?

It’s easy, check the website for schedule, Twitter or Facebook. We want people to know where we are at!

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