Taco’s totally tasty tacos: Mobile chef brings So-Cal flavor to heartland
Considering the chef behind the cuisine, the origin of Taco’s Food Truck goes way back, back in the day when Nintendo was a new entertainment system and Josh Tajchman became “Taco.”
“Back when I was in sixth grade, the Tajchman house had a tradition of eating tacos every Friday night,” Tajchman said. “I had my buddies Dave [Darrow] and Trav Moore] over, and we were on a [Nintendo] Tecmo Bowl bender. Well, my Dad [Frank] drew up a menu for us and Tiff, my sister, took our orders. We just gamed and grubbed all night. Then on Monday at school, all of a sudden everybody was calling me Taco. I guess Dave and Trav collaborated on the nickname. It just stuck ever since.”
Bringing So-Cal style cuisine to the Midwest, now Taco is his own namesake for a food truck he operates with his wife, Alison.
“We do California-style street tacos and other chef-inspired dishes,” Taco said. “I’m very inspired by southern Cali. I always make everything from scratch and use fresh, local ingredients, and I wouldn’t serve it if I didn’t think it was great or if I wouldn’t eat it myself.”
Little did Taco know that the nickname would follow him through his Marion High School career to southern California, where he took culinary classes at a community college, which sparked a 12-year stint as corporate executive chef at restaurants in Thousand Oaks, California, Palm Desert, California, and Kansas City until he transition out of the corporate atmosphere recently.
“I’ve always had a passion for cooking, but I kind of hit the ceiling,” Taco said. “I felt like the corporate environment had taken me as far as it could.”
He wanted to do something different, something his own, something more “Taco.”
“Like music, everything has been done a million times; I’m just putting my own spin on some familiar dishes,” Taco said. “I know what works and what people like.”
Where he focuses on cooking, Alison focuses on booking, advertising, and serving, Taco said. He and Alison, have served patrons in Olathe, Wamego, Kansas City, Paola, and in Marion at Bearly Makin’ It Antiques.
“I am very picky about what I eat,” Marion resident Linda Ogden said. “Taco has a delicious, inventive menu. Last time he came out, a lot of people came by just to eat his food.”
Taco said he plans to visit Marion with his food truck periodically. He will be back at Barely Makin’ It again Saturday and for Chingawassa Days the first weekend in June.
He noted that customers have given many compliments on his barbecue pulled pork and barbecue brisket nachos. He deep-fries chips, salting them afterward before adding crispy onions, sliced pickles, homemade nacho cheese, jalapenos, charred corn, black beans, cilantro, tomatoes, and big dollop of sour cream.
“I smoke the meat myself for 14 hours,” Taco said. “You can pull the bone straight out of the pork butt clean as a whistle when I’m done; it’s super tender.”
While Taco and Alison are still perfecting their operation, Taco said their plan is to “start small and go up from there,” moving to larger festivals and events as their customer-base grows. For more information, call (818) 635-4886 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I’m always the last to eat,” Taco said. “To me there is no greater joy than watching someone grub and go to town on what I’ve cooked.”