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Hitchin’ a Ride: How to Open a Food Truck, Part 3

By Megan Giller
July 2, 2014
Photo by: Spencer Selvidge

Welcome to Hitchin’ a Ride, a new series that follows former Congress pastry chef Erica Waskmunski as she opens her first trailer, Red Star Southern.

Last time we saw Erica and her crew, they were drinking margaritas on a break, but there’s no sleep for the kitchen when you’re opening a food trailer. After the last sip of tequila, Erica and her friend Norma Jeanne Maloney at Red Rider Studios get to work painting the exterior of the Airstream.


Norma Jeanne paints the logo, which Erica designed, on the side of the truck. The star pays homage to her background: “Even though I’m moving into a different world,” Erica says, “Michelin and its stars still mean a lot to me.” Add that to her bright red hair and Southern heritage and you get Red Star Southern. ​There's also a big “Howdy” on the back window (a nod to graffiti Norma Jeanne sprayed on a Nashville restaurant ages ago).​ 


The chef has more than a few friends helping her out. Longtime pal Tom Spaulding (of Live Oak BBQ) is letting her use his space as her commissary kitchen. Erica moved the Airstream to its permanent location at the Grackle this morning, though she’s not quite ready for business yet. (Alas, no sweet potato biscuits and gravy for us for a few more weeks.)

Stay tuned for the next episode, in which Erica showcases some of her signature dishes for us hungry folks. And check out part 1 and part 2 of the series.

Photos by Spencer Selvidge

Places Mentioned


American • 2nd Street District

Food25 Decor24 Service24 Cost$66

Bar • East Austin

Atmo.20 Decor15 Service20 CostI
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