FRIEND REQUEST: JORGE SULLON OF THE DESIGN BARN
From cooking at Disney World to owning his own food truck “Mixtura”, Jorge Sullon has an impressive background as a chef. He shares the motive behind his passion for cooking, his work with the Design Barn, and his future aspirations for his business.
LOCAL219: Could you explain your background experience as a chef and what led you to your current work with the Design Barn?
JORGE SULLON: It’s kind of funny, the reason I’m here is because I met my wife, she’s also a professional chef, and we met at Disney World. Then we moved here to Indiana because of my wife. When you’re in love you just follow your partner, you know? Then I ended up being at Fair Oaks for 8 years, was secondary chef there and then we did amazing things. Three years ago my wife and I decided to open our own business and we thought, “Let’s just have a food truck”. So far so good! We got connected with the Design Barn which my wife and I are in charge of doing all of the events here food wise. That’s how I’m here in Northwest Indiana! Our business is “Mixtura” Food Truck, and we also have “Sullon’s Catering” where we cater inside and outside.
L219: Has it always been your goal to run your own food truck or was the timing just right for this new experience?
JS: Yes, it’s always been. As a chef, I mean, I’m pretty sure every chef wants to open his own business so that has always been a goal and dream for my wife and I.
L219: What inspires you both personally and professionally?
JS: I love to feed people, especially when they are amazed with the things we do. I like to always bring my roots to the table, which is Peruvian roots and Latin cuisine. “Mixtura” means a mix of everything.
L219: I’d love to know more about your menu. How did you create it, what was the process of perfecting it, and what did you learn from that experience?
JS: It was a challenge. Especially this region where people don’t know and it’s not their fault. Like selling empanadas or cuban sandwiches, incorporating spices, peppers from Peru or South America, people get confused. Our challenge is to educate them. Once they try the food, they love it.
L219: How has your experience with Design Barn helped you grow as a chef? What does this role help you bring to the table in terms of creativity?
JS: I love the fact that I can be free here creatively. I can make from Japanese to French to Mexican to Peruvian, that’s the freedom that I have here. Also, the customer service. We give good service and a good experience. It’s not just food and a banquet hall, it’s an experience from the location to the venue to the food. Everything here is an experience.
L219: Can you explain more about where your produce is sourced from here at the Design Barn?
JS: I’m getting produce from Lane’s End Farm which is located in Lowell and my meat from Made by Lane’s. On October 5th, we have Taste of the Farm and they’re donating their produce like tomatoes, potatoes, garlic, parsley, onions, and Made by Lane’s is helping me with their Ribeye steaks. I want to showcase and tell people that they can make any type of cuisine with local ingredients. Corn, potatoes, and produce like that, you can actually get it from local sources here.
L219: Why are you so passionate about being a chef and what is your drive behind the work that you do?
JS: My passion came from my grandparents, especially my grandma, she’s the one that taught me pretty much the foundation in the kitchen. Ever since then I’ve been looking forward to becoming a chef until I became one. I love to provide food to people, especially when it’s different. I see here that people sometimes don’t know the ingredients that we utilize and I love it when they try our food and love it. I like to feed people. I like when I see the smile on their face when they’re eating our food. When I see them eating my food and they love it, especially when it’s something different like Peruvian produce or spices from other countries, I feel very happy about it.
L219: Where do you hope to go from here? What are your goals?
JS: Hopefully in the near future I’ll open my own restaurant, why not with Michaline and Jared Tomich!