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Meet John Martin Gallegos of AZUCAR FOOD TRUCK

Today we’d like to introduce you to John Martin Gallegos.

John Martin, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
When I was a kid, waking up to handmade flour tortillas by my grandfather or my grandmother, or having a delicious guisado “stew” ready for me after school was the best!. My parents were business owners and at some points had full-time jobs, so my childhood was a little different. We were hardly home for home-cooked meals – this meant a lot of eating out or as American life dictates, a lot of fast food. I would always look forward to visiting my grandparents – home cooked meals were the best!

At my Aunt Rosa’s, who lived close by, I would walk down the street just to see her cook, since she was the best cook in my eyes. They always had me helping them in the kitchen during the summers. These role models had a lot of influence on my cooking now. I always saw myself in the kitchen – never thinking it would be my living – but, developed an extreme passion for cooking. I enrolled myself in culinary school in 2012 and graduated from Le Cordon Bleu Dallas a year later. I worked part-time catering in hotels to get the experience I needed and loved it. Soon after I started catering small parties for friends and the business grew from there.

After a few years, longtime friends and entrepreneurs, Lillian and Kenny Weaver, offered me a business deal to open a food truck. Not knowing anything about the food truck industry, this was very scary – but, it felt right. At age of 25, I saw myself as an amateur, but I knew I had to take the next step in my life. So we all joined heads and within a month purchased a truck and started working on this adventure. In 2015, we opened Azucar – going on three years and we have been feeding the DFW metroplex one day at a time.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Stepping into a kitchen is no problem, but, stepping into a kitchen with wheels is a whole different story! Our first event was a disaster – having our generator give up on us in the middle of service (and let me add it was during the hot Texas summer daytime) was an absolute nightmare.

We somehow survived our first day, me not knowing if I’d made the right decision, and, I knew nothing was going to be easy from this point on. From running out of propane to having engine issues – we finally learned this was just the food truck life. With our great team, we stayed motivated and quickly learned how to deal with everything that arose.

Please tell us about AZUCAR FOOD TRUCK.
I will always have a heart for catering, and, if I have the time I will take on a gig. John Martin Catering specializes in small personal catering events. Themed dinners are fun and I love taking people to new experiences from their home dinner table – having them feel as though they were on vacation in a different city through the culture, music, and food I offer. My goal is to take my catering to the next level and start doing pop up restaurant/dinners around Dallas soon…..

Full time I work at Azucar, as Co-owner and Chef. Azucar Latin American Cuisine has been open for three years now. We specialize in Latin-Fusion. Of course, we do tacos, since we are in Texas, but we also do Cubans with our Texas twist. We have all the ingredients of a Cuban Sandwich – roasted pork, ham, mustard, pickles, and cheese – in a 14inch flour tortilla and call it the Cuban Quesadilla. We are also known by many for our Mayan tacos. Named DFW’s 10 Most Underrated Taco by Dallas Observer in 2016 & DALLAS-FORT WORTH’S 11 BEST TACOS TO DEVOUR RIGHT NOW in 2017 by Thrillis Dallas.

Our Mayans are a twist on the Navajo/Indian taco. It’s a hand stretched dough that’s fried topped with refried black beans, choice of meat, veggies, cheese, sour cream, and our delicious creamy jalapeno salsa.

At Azucar, we are very proud how far we’ve come. We can say our food speaks for itself. For three friends to quit their normal jobs and be able to work and give everything to this business has been a blessing. We were named “Top Ten Rookie Food Trucks of the Year” by Mobile Cuisine in 2015, Azucar continues to win over foodie fans with our delicious selection of Latin American dishes. We might not have your traditional tacos, Cubans, etc, but, our dishes definitely have the “Sazon.” (more flavor in Spanish).

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
Really hard question – we jumped into opening this business within weeks. One thing I would say is time. The kitchen and food was not really an issue, but, having time to look into what problems food truck owners go through; mechanical, plumbing, propane, generator, etc., are just some things we overlooked. Other than that, I do not have any regrets or thoughts of anything we would have done differently.

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