We all know that food trucks, by nature, move. But one Plymouth-based catering company is leading a mobile food movement across the South Shore and beyond. Chef Stephen Coe custom designed his SWAT Culinary Assault Vehicle to be bigger and, yes, badder than your average food truck—but in a good way.
Now in its second season on the road, Coe’s truck will be rolling up to local festivals, private parties and special events at Mayflower Brewing and serving up world class cuisine with a focus on locally sourced ingredients.
Coe was raised around restaurants—his grandfather was connected to Pomeroy’s in Bridgewater and often brought Coe there as a child, letting him experiment and learn in the kitchen—and he knew early on that food was his passion. A Johnson & Wales graduate, he has over 25 years of restaurant industry experience, honing his culinary skills in the kitchens of hot spots like Alba in Quincy, Patrizia’s Trattoria in Plymouth and Mirbeau Inn & Spa in Plymouth. In recent years, Coe gained international notoriety as a fierce competitor and champion at several high-profile chef throw-downs. His accolades include being named World Bacon Champion at the World Food Championships and being dubbed “Grill Master” on the Food Network’ series Chopped Grill Masters (you can catch his latest television appearance on a Chopped redemptio showdown this month).
Several years ago, Coe served as a consultant for Food Truck Nation, a program that developed and launched food trucks in the greater Boston area. He was responsible for conceptualizing and overseeing the operation of four food trucks and three culinary concepts including Italian Street Food, Lobsta Love and two Grilled Cheese Nation trucks.
More recently, while serving as the culinary director at Mirbeau Inn and Spa, Coe began to imagine a new style of food truck. “I had already worked on the concept of extreme dining,” says Coe. “I’d done dinners on oyster flats and in cranberry bogs and it requires a lot of equipment to do those kinds of things. A food truck just seemed like the natural next step.” His dream wouldn’t become a reality, however, until he found just the right truck.
“I was at an auction and they rolled this SWAT truck in and I just thought: this is it. This thing is a beast. I had to have it,” says Coe, who purchased the vehicle and then invested big on pimping out his ride. “It’s an animal,” says Coe, who added spiked hubcaps and installed a professional kitchen inside the truck, complete with a six-burner Wolf stove. “It’s all about the fire power,” says Coe. “My wife is jealous because it’s better than our kitchen at home.”
Equipped with the tools and the staff to accommodate a wide range of menu requests, the SWAT Culinary Assault Vehicle gives Coe and his catering team the flexibility and freedom to think outside the box and focus on bold flavors, local ingredients and creative ideas. He recently teamed up with Mayflower Brewing to host a festive Cinco de Mayo party and put a fun twist on Mexican street food by serving up confit chicken wings, a cheese charcuterie, empanadas and pork belly tacos—all designed to pair with Mayflower beers.
If you ask Coe what’s on the horizon, he’ll list off a slew of big ideas in the works, from barbecue competitions to an amped-up ice cream truck for kids’ parties.
“It’s fun and creative,” says Coe. “I mean: who doesn’t love a good food truck?”