Trucking Delicious food in Hanalei

Trucking Delicious is a new food truck located in the grassy lot next to Hanalei Liquor Store. The focus is gourmet grilled cheese, which is enhanced by unusual and delicious flavor combinations. Owner Chloe Sorey opened last March, nearly two years after graduating from the Culinary Arts program at Kauai Community College.

Sorey was born and raised in Hanalei, attended Hanalei and Kapaa schools, and catered her first wedding at the age of 15. From 16 to 19, she attended KCC while working at Bar Acuda Restaurant in Hanalei. After graduation, Sorey moved to Oahu and took more cooking classes at Kapiolani Community College.

“When Chloe was 2, my grandmother and I set her on the kitchen floor with a vinyl tablecloth and gave her a bowl a noodles and sauce,” recalls mother Julie Sorey, who helps Chloe with her business. “She ate it and got it all over the walls and herself. When she was 4, we started making Greek food together.”

Those early experiences sculpted Chloe’s penchant for pairing unexpected ingredients that blend sweet, salty, bitter, sour and umami (savory). That’s a lot to pack in a humble grilled cheese sandwich, but she pulls it off.

Each sandwich is made with chewy sourdough bread from Passion Bakery in Kapaa. In the Angry Goat ($9), tangy goat cheese is topped with salty prosciutto ham, sweet mango and spicy nioi (Hawaiian chili peppers), which she grows in her home garden. Creamy cheese and juicy mango spill from the bread’s crunchy exterior and its explosive flavor changes the grilled cheese game.

 TGIT or “Thank goodness it’s Thursday have Thanksgiving any day” ($10), features slices of antibiotic and hormone-free turkey, cranberry cream cheese, pepper jack cheese and fried onions. In a nod toward green bean casserole, Chloe makes pickled green beans and serves them on the side.

A whole ham is roasted and thickly sliced for Miss Piggy ($9). The salty ham is topped with soft, sweet dates, savory Havarti cheese and spicy arugula.

“That one is so good!” says Chloe. “It’s my favorite!”

At Trucking Delicious, vegetarian and gluten-free options are available and soup is made fresh every day. Today, a thick ground beef, smoked sausage and four bean chili is served with raw onion, sour cream, cheddar cheese and house-pickled jalapeños ($3 a cup, $5 a bowl). It’s also served on top of a hot dog loaded with cheese and pickled jalapeño.

A variety of desserts are made fresh everyday and usually includes cupcakes ($3). Today, there are two: strawberry basil and Nutella. Pies ($5 a slice) include blackberry goat cheese on a graham cracker crust and peanut butter chocolate ice cream drizzled with house-made chocolate syrup on an Oreo crust.

The 21-year-old runs her food truck while earning a bachelor’s degree in food and beverage management through the Kapiolani Community College online program.

“I’m really proud that I am completely Hawaii educated,” says Chloe, “and I’m extremely proud to be a KCC graduate!”

• Marta Lane, a food writer on Kauai since 2010, offers farm to fork food tours and is the author of Tasting Kauai: Restaurants – From Food Trucks to Fine Dining, A Guide to Eating Well on the Garden Island. For more information, visit TastingKauai.com.

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