So we finally got to go out to try out the Cuisine Cart in a festival at downtown Lexington, KY. The Pride Festival has been an annual event that brings in a good crowd so what better venue?
Of course we did not count on the temperatures being 105 deg F [41 Deg Celsius]. With the bug spray in one hand and sun spray in the other we set the cart in place on North Limestone, directly across from the courthouse. While getting the vegetables prepped for the day, the health department shows up for the inspection and gives us the green light. Great....one hurdles out of the way! We then hook up the cart to the available power supply but there is no power. Oh no! But have no fear; our pizza oven cart has its own generator so we fire up the generator and it's time to line up the hungry people for some yummy pizza.
For folks who are not familiar with the Cuisine Cart, this was a project that was in the works for several years. The dream was to create a fully self-supported, self-contained mobile pizza shop, where there would be no need for any external power source. You could just bring ingredients, drop the cart, fire it up and start selling. Well it looks like we succeeded.
The cart was running beautifully, everything as expected with the exception of the refrigeration working hard to keep up in the sweltering heat.
We soon realized the heat was too much. People were taking refuge under the trees just to keep themselves from getting fried - not an ideal day for doing business, but our mission was to test the cart in a practical environment and we were getting this task done.
We were using 9" prebaked crust in the pizza oven and even though the crust quality was good, the size proved to be a little too big for one person. In the future, I would look at a 7-8" or a ready pita like base.
The Middleby PS-520 ovens give you the ability to prepare anything that takes your fancy. Chicken wings, for example, do great in these ovens. With two full bottles of gas and 5 gallons of gasoline we were set to be running a full 8-10 hour shift without any external hook up. A small freezer hooked up to the cart provided additional refrigeration space.
All and all I was really happy with the outcome. Where else can someone with an investment of less than $18K have a fully mobile shop that can setup in less then 30 minutes and start making money?