Best known for their Out of the Blue barbecue sauce available at local grocery stores, Ashevilleans Rob Lowry and Chris Smith recently partnered with Peruvian chef Santiago Vargas to highlight his country’s unique flavors on the streets of Asheville. Out of the Blue Peruvian Fusion Cuisine food truck is now open for business.
“Peruvian food is just amazing,” Lowry says, calling the country a culinary mecca, “and [it’s] becoming top-of-the-line in the culinary world across the whole globe for the flavors and excitement. … The freshness and the liveliness of the food has always been really enticing for us.”
Lowry and his wife both have Peruvian blood, which he says inspires his love of the area’s cuisine. Business partner Smith (who created Out of the Blue’s sauce product line) and newly hired chef Vargas round out the venture’s leadership team.
The truck, Lowry says, is “actually going to be showcasing [chef Vargas’] Peruvian cooking and infusing a lot of our barbecue sauces, rub and American flavors — and putting out a whole new product.”
“It is a pretty big meat-eating culture, but the chef is very well-versed in trying to create dishes that will satisfy everybody,” Lowry says. “So he’s going to have some things that will be meat-free.”
The current menu includes options like veggie fried rice and avocado salad for vegetarians and much more for carnivorous eaters. Santiago serves dishes like lomo saltado (marinated strips of filet mignon or sirloin steak with onions, tomatoes, scallions and other ingredients) and sanguche de chicharron (pork braised and fried in its own fat with sliced sweet potato fries and salsa) with pride.
Although the culinary trio is sill seeking a more permanent location for the truck, Out of the Blue has adopted regular shifts at Catawba Brewing Co. (Mondays, 4-9 p.m.), Mountain Area Health Education Center on Hendersonville Road (Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.) and Green Man Brewery (Sundays, 1-9 p.m.). The truck will also be at LEAF Community Arts’ inaugural LEAF Downtown AVL event on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 1-2.
“Nobody is willing to concentrate just on Peruvian food,” says Lowry. “That’s what I really felt like the city was missing.”
Visit facebook.com/OutoftheBluePeruvian for more information.