Jose Piaggio of Piaggio On Wheels, Part One
Photo by Kimberly Valenzuela

Jose Piaggio of Piaggio On Wheels, Part One

Jose Piaggio is literally the driving force behind Piaggio on Wheels, one of the most sought after and one of the first in the gourmet breed of food trucks in O.C.--one that our own Gustavo Arellano gave a rare, but enthusiastic thumb ups. But before he took to the road to impress food critics and Twitter followers, Chef Piaggio was a traditional restaurateur. He owned the Gaucho Grill restaurant in Brea, an Argentinean steakhouse which became Carvão Grill at the same location.

For our feature, he answers our silly questionnaire.

Enjoy the first part of our profile. Stay tuned for part two tomorrow. And then on Thursday, Chef Piaggio will share a recipe with y'all.

What are six words to describe your food?

Fresh, savory, consistent, eclectic, authentic, simple.

What are ten words to describe you?

Passionate, temperamental, dependable, hard-working, brutally honest, intuitive, loving, reliable, fair, and loyal.

Your best recent food find:

Ranch 99 Market fresh fish section.

Most undervalued ingredient:

Kosher salt, it's the heart and soul of every dish.

Rules of conduct in your kitchens:

Cleanliness, consistency, good attitude, and a love for food and service.

One food you detest:


Culinarily speaking, Orange County has the best:

Vietnamese food in Little Saigon.

What fast food is your least favorite?

Last year I ate at an independent burger joint on my way home from the beach in the San Diego area. Thankfully, I can't remember the name. It was horrible.

Best culinary tip for the home cook.

Use what you have available and use your creativity. Remember good ingredients equal good food.

After-work hangout:

Anywhere with my wife and son is home.

If you could cook for one person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

For my grandfather. He was the one who introduced me to the pleasures of cooking, hosting, savoring good food, and dining out at a very early age.

Favorite celebrity chef.

Mario Batali.

Celebrity chef who should shut up:

Gordon Ramsay. He needs to be more compassionate. This is a brutal business.

What's next for you?

I want to keep bringing quality food to places where it's needed and appreciated.

Proudest moment as a chef/restaurant owner:

Seeing my 9-year old son Andreas taking orders and talking to customers last Sunday. He has the business in his blood.

Favorite music to cook by:

Pat Metheny, Travels.

Best food city in America:

New York.

Favorite restaurant in America:

On my way to discover it.

Visit Piaggio On Wheels at or follow them on Twitter @piaggioonwheels.


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