Food Truck News
|Food Truck news, locations and reviews for Philly, NJ and
NYC Food Trucks.
What's the best Food truck ? Where can I buy a food truck?
At the site of a gas rig at dinner time you might see a bright yellow and reddish orange, delivery-type truck with big black
letters spelling "The Rig" on the side of it, which stands out from all the white trucks parked around.
This isn't a part of the drilling inventory of equipment; it's a special catering truck. Its owner, Christopher Somerville, is a
gourmet chef, but he doesn't wear a chef's hat - he wears a hard hat.
"Any one of my dishes is ordered and served under 12 minutes," Somerville said. "Whatever the mood, we have the food."
From 1996 through 1998, Somerville attended the Florida Culinary Institute in West Palm Beach, studying under Chef
Pantone, who is a master pastry chef and currently dean of the institute. He gained his experiences there from the many
other fine master chefs as well.
Somerville graduated with a degree in culinary arts and business management, as well as a degree in food science and
food preparation. After graduation, Somerville started an organic fish business in Ocala, Fla. Building a self-contained bio
system, he grew his own organic vegetation for his fish food. The food dangled to feed the tilapia and coy carp, which are
herbivores. The tilapia was raised for food consumption, the coy carps were ornamentals. He supplied major fish
wholesalers in the Northeast. At the same time, Somerville was working for restaurants in the West Palm Beach area.
Those included Legal Seafood, The Breakers and Duffies Inc.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., Somerville's family had a summer camp in Bradford County where he spent many of his
childhood summers. He loved the area so much that when he had an opportunity to retire from his fish farming in 2007
and purchase some property in the Laceyville area, he took advantage of it and moved there.
In 2008, he started to make plans to form a homestyle food delivery in a rural area that would benefit the local people as
well as the gas industry coming into the area. Somerville purchased a truck from Nationwide Auto Group in East Windsor,
N.J. He did the graphic design for the outside of the truck by drawing the logo. Nationwide did all of the construction of the
vehicle, inside and out. It is a 10' x 24' double-axel parcel delivery truck, containing a state-of-the-art kitchen equipped with
Alto Shaams, which are prime rib cookers, a charcoal grill, a California grill, a 40-pound pressure deep fryer, along with all
the other normal restaurant necessities, such as refrigerators, freezers and stovetop cooking.
"We like to call our cooking facility 'a restaurant on wheels,'"
Somerville said, explaining that his restaurant on wheels started in the Laceyville area. Currently they deliver to a radius of
about 20 miles within Laceyville, with a plan to increase that radius to 50 or 60 miles. But for special occasions they will
In the Laceyville area the Tablerock Tavern hires them every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights to serve their
patrons. According to Somerville, they do very well and sometimes people even stop on the side of the road to enjoy their
specialties. Other local establishments often hire them to enhance their businesses.
"I've got over 250 food items on the truck that can make over 1,100 deviations in under 12 minutes," Somerville said. "I
have over 150 sauce bases that I can create over 1,100 different sauces."
One of their specialties is to cater to wine festivals. They design a special menu that accents the different local wines. The
most recent festival was the Black Walnut Wine Festival in Black Walnut, Pa., sponsored by the American Legion. The
shrimp tapenade with roasted red pepper, artichoke and garlic spread; the pumpkin ravioli with a brown butter béchamel
sauce; the buffalo mozzarella ravioli with a mild blue cheese buffalo sauce; and the prime rib with mango glaze were the
Somerville creates all of these dishes and keeps the "recipes" in his head. When a patron asks for something he can
usually make it quickly, and tastefully. And yes, he even makes hamburgers, but their hamburgers really shouldn't be
called hamburgers. They're a combination of chopped brisket and rib eye and served on an 88-layer croissant bun, which
they have custom-made for them.
Last month The Rig was set up at the Troy Fair at Alparon Park. Fairgoers and other vendors looking for something a little
different flocked to that bright yellow orange truck. With such a varied menu, it's no wonder that The Rig was a popular
place to get a meal that wasn't quite "fair food" at a reasonable price.
"Everything we had yesterday was good," said Jamie Bagley, who tried four different things from the menu. "It's nice to
have some non-traditional fair foods, even though we like fair food." Her daughter, Mackenna Bagley, Sullivan County Dairy
Princess, had the chicken emppanadas for a second time.
"He's taken the fair food and flipped it upside down," said Esther Krupa, a vendor from Wilkes-Barre, Pa. "It's so good! It's
real, homemade meals; real chef quality."
Jerrica Frazier, a vendor from King, N.C., was looking for some breakfast food at 7 p.m. Greene was on duty at The Rig
and made her a delicious ham, shrimp and pepper omelet.
"It's amazing!" Frazier said. "It is so good!"
Somerville is a generous chef as well as a talented one. At the Troy Fair he was often heard offering complimentary
bottled water to a fair employee or patron who he felt needed a respite from the heat.
Since June 1 of this year, Somerville along with his business partner Eric Camarda, Paris Greene, and his daughter
Bridgette Somerville, have done at least 15 rig jobs near Wyalusing, Williamsport, Nicholson, and Luzerne County. They
have also done catering on some pipeline sites.
Some of Somerville's catering is just good old home-style meals that offer a little extra uniqueness to some old-fashioned
meatloaf, fried chicken, pot roast, turkey and dressing, and potatoes that rig workers not only enjoy, but need for the hard
work they do. Somerville has found that the gas industry people have been very generous and accommodating to his
"They miss home," Somerville said. "One guy told me that he can come here and eat 'home.'"
Is it any wonder that since they have started, the gas companies have been calling them constantly?
"Eric and I have high hopes for our business," Somerville said. "My goal is to have my restaurant on wheels on every shale
play in the country, and I may even consider building a boat for offshore drilling!"