Carlo Chalisea served Don Lucho's first sandwich off the grill himself in August of 2013. Now, two years later, the 30-year-old Seattle-based chef and entrepreneur is slanging his imaginative Rococo and Aji Amarillo-smothered Chicharron and Lomo Saltado creations to sandwich-loving Seattleites all over town as many as five days a week, and has trouble keeping up with demand even after hiring multiple employees.
As one of the only authentic Peruvian food options in an area where the South American country’s cuisine is still largely unknown, the mobile sandwichera, which is named after Chalisea's father, has been growing apace with the local food truck scene as a whole, which exploded following the Seattle City Council’s unanimous vote to allow mobile food vendors to sell on public streets in 2011 (the state’s legalization of recreational marijuana in 2012 couldn’t have hurt things, either).
At least some of the sandwich truck’s growth is the result of carving out a unique niche within the city’s larger mobile food community by way of standing gigs at local breweries, which have, like the trucks, been cropping up like wildfire in recent years.
Along with this fortuitous strategy, the majority of his savings, and good old fashioned hard work, Chalisea credits Don Lucho’s success to innovative takes on his mom's family recipes, and a passionate dream to bring his Peruvian culture and cuisine to his hometown.
The face of the fast food worker has changed drastically. No longer a pimply-faced teenager fumbling through his first experience with employment, your cashier is an adult.