Food Truck Profile: Rhode Rage

rhodeMarine biologist or chef? Rizwan Ahmed, known as Chef Riz, of the fiery food truck Rhode Rage, followed both paths but found that the kitchen was his calling. Working mornings at Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Florida, and evenings as a busser at The Beach House in Bradenton, Florida, the organized chaos of the kitchen caught his eye and drew him in, sending Chef Riz on a culinary journey that young chefs dream about. After building a resume flooded with impressive accomplishments, such as attending Le Cordon Bleu in London; working for noteworthy chefs such as Gordon Ramsey, Michel Roux and Paul Gayler; and opening a restaurant of his own, Chef Riz traded it all in for a food truck. But not just any food truck.

When his wife first dropped the idea of a food truck, Chef Riz far from praised the idea. “I was arrogant — I didn’t bust my ass for 10 years in Michelin-Star restaurants to flip burgers on a food truck!” But then his perspective changed. Inspired by the stylings of gourmet food trucks, such as Noble Knots and Plouf Plouf Gastronomie, Chef Riz realized that he could combine his wife’s idea with his own aspirations, thus creating Rhode Rage in late 2014.

Every summer the menu changes to highlight Chef Riz’s global adventures. “I get a lot of my inspiration from street food in my travels to places around the US and internationally like Dubai, London or South America.” After some research, he makes this food his own by experimenting with his loving, yet honest, family. “This summer I’ll be doing my own take on the Philly Cheesesteak that has broccoli rabe, lemon zest, chili flakes and provolone cheese, and then it’s pressed.” Although Chef Riz likes to think outside the box, he also makes sure to keep the fan favorites on the menu, such as the Blackened Fish Taco and the Falafel Wrap.

As with any new business venture, it was not always smooth sailing when the doors first opened. Chef Riz admits that Rhode Rage’s first event made him second guess investing in a food truck. “My first event was a Wednesday event at the Marriott by the [T.F. Green] airport. After an hour, one person came up and ordered fries. At that moment, I thought that having a food truck was a bad idea. We ended up only making $300 after five hours.” Fortunately, his luck began to turn around when he attended the Newport Folk Festival and Roger Williams Park Food Truck Friday. “Now I love it. I have no regrets.” After some time, Chef Riz found his niche at the Westport River Vineyard in Westport, Mass. Now you can catch Rhode Rage at the Vineyard serving at the Sunset Music Concert Series on Fridays, and Lunch & Wine Tastings on Saturdays all throughout summer and fall.

Check out Rhode Rage’s Twitter (@rhoderagetruck) and Facebook pages for updates on the truck!

To see the current locations of local food trucks, visit motifri.com/food-truck-locator, brought to you by FoodTrucksIn RI (foodtrucksin.com), a Providence-based company allowing users to find local food trucks or food trucks in over 1,300 cities nationwide.

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