Chef Monica Woodford Cobb is changing the culinary landscape in Beaumont, Texas with her Banh Mon Renegade Food Truck. She’s usually parked on Calder Avenue in front of Jack’s Pak It and Bonnie Cokonos School of Dance. A lot of you have blown through Beaumont to fill up your tanks but the next time you come through you should do yourself a favor and give Chef Monica a visit. She’s wide open for business Tuesday-Friday from 11am to 2pm and will gladly accept your cash. The Banh Mon is Chef Monica’s hybrid of the Vietnamese/French sandwich the Banh Mi. My favorite is the Blackstrap Pork Loin Banh Mon— warm fluffy, flaky baguette filled with Soy Aioli, Crisp Cucumber, Watercress, Arugula, Cilantro, Carrots, Pickled Dikon, Mai Ploy Vinaigrette, and Sriracha. She’ll make it gluten free if you need her too. The Renegade Food Truck was born from her Renegade Dinner Party– pop-up dinner parties, serving only what was wild shot, caught, and foraged, that ended up serving 80-100 people and generating serious buzz around Beaumont. Folks there love Chef Monica, who studied under Wolfgang Puck, and wanted more of her and her delicious creations. Thus, the Banh Mon Renegade Food Truck was born. She posts what vegetables she needs on Facebook and friends in the community offer up what they have either for trade or a little cash. Chef Monica’s truck isn’t just a place to order food to go, the coolest people show up to hang out and catch up on what’s happening. The day I was there it was a downright hootenanny—musicians trading banjos, guitars, harmonicas and turns singing. The bottom line is there’s not a better sandwich creation in Texas or place to hang out. That’s a big statement and could be fighting words. I’ll take the heat, though, because I know I’m right.
WHAT MAKES MONICA HAPPY ABOUT BEAUMONT: “I love being so close to the gulf and having so much access to great food.” “We’re close to the Louisiana boarder so it’s a great food culture.”
WHAT WOULD MAKE MONICA HAPPY: “Traveling around the world with my food truck— my kids on my back and my husband by my side.”
Just in case you’re not going through Beaumont, TX any time soon and can’t get to Chef Monica’s Banh Mon Renegade Food Truck, she gave The Stretch 2012 a recipe to share:
Blue Ribbon Renegade Fried Gulf Speckled Trout
Cut filets of trout into small bite size pieces.
Use a paper towel to pat dry all of the fish.
Season fish with salt, pepper, garlic powder.
Mix cornstarch with ancho-chili powder, smoked paprika, cayenne, salt, black pepper & garlic.(to taste)
Heat peanut oil to 375 degrees.
Toss fish in seasoned cornstarch mix to coat evenly and fry it to golden brown in color.
Finish with a sprinkle of salt.
Serve with your favorite jicama slaw or green papaya salad.
This is a gluten free recipe.