The Food Truck has started rolling around metro Little Rock. This restaurant on wheels is the creation of Chef Jeffrey L. Palsa. Palsa has an esteemed pedigree having worked at some of Little Rock's finest food houses. These include Alouette's, 1620, Andre's and Graffiti's.
The mission of the food truck is to serve seriously better food to the metro area. Their fare includes a lamb sandwich, "the best Reuben in the state", My Momma's sandwich- a parmesan crusted turkey avocado delight, a red pepper hummus filled Greek burrito and salads. Local suppliers are used when available and they make everything themselves. They also offer catering with or without their truck – Preston.
Jeffrey grew up in the fertile farm lands of Central Arkansas where he was raised at the apron strings of the southern matriarchs in his family; his mother and two grandmothers. These ladies always had room for one more at the table. They wouldn't think of letting someone enter their home without partaking of a meal. They had a cut glass cake stand that if not magically, at least amazingly never was empty. They ruled their homes with a wooden spoon in one hand and an iron skillet in the other. From this upbringing, Jeffrey's culinary molding began.
He learned food from the gardens of his grandparents. He learned how to use every last bit of foodstuffs be it from the hog pen, chicken coop, or root cellar. He witnessed the secret ingredients added to the family recipes that were sacred to Sunday dinner-that's the big meal after Church, not the evening one of supper.
After graduation from Hendrix College, Jeffrey's first professional cooking was at The International Bazaar in downtown Little Rock. He then moved to Washington D.C. to work at the Tabard Inn. Here he apprenticed under several chefs that continue to leave their mark on the Eastern seaboard restaurant industry. While in D.C., Cheffrey was the host of a locally produced cooking show on PBS. Upon leaving D.C., Cheffrey worked at a variety of establishments both large and small.
He returned to Little Rock to join the team of Dennis Sayer, Paul Bash, Ed Moore and Evette Brady from the famed Continental Cuisine Company that continues to shape central Arkansas dining. With them he worked at Allouette's, Purple Cow, Pickles, Graffiti's and 1620. Jeffrey continued on his culinary path as a private chef for various clients, managing a catering business, and as a chef for a variety of restaurant types. In 1992 he joined the Liberty House Restaurant Company. Here he served as the opening Chef of Kudzu Café. In 1993 he was selected by both the Atlanta Journal Constitution and Atlanta magazine as "one of the hot new Chef's of the South." In his decade plus of service he worked at Blue Ridge Grill, at legendary Bone's and with OK Café and Take Away.
He then joined the Neighborhood Dining Group and moved to Charleston S.C. to open Buccaneer Restaurant and Museum. This establishment is proud to use its own farm and other local suppliers to feature the best Low Country Classics and American Standards in the true tradition of farm to table. While working in Charleston, Jeffrey had the opportunity to work with several James Beard winners. These include Sean Brock of McCrady's and Husk, Mike Lata of FIG, and Hominy Grill's Robert Stehling.
Jeffrey then found his way back to Arkansas to act as area director for a South Arkansas, Southern Louisiana chain. It was here that he hired Tyler Rogers and not long after met his brother Jason and the three came up with the idea of starting their own food canteen. This became TheFoodTruck.
When not in the field or on Preston (TheFoodTruck), Jeffrey is a movie and theater buff, enjoys travel, gorilla dining and fine bourbons and tequilas.