I always wanted to be a cook since I was little. Cooking kind of chose me right from the start.
Peter Gobin, owner and chef of Mijo’s Tacos, got his start at the Providence Bookstore Café about 22 years ago. He moved on to Al Forno and quickly learned about traditional Italian food from both George Germon and Brian Kingsford. At New Rivers under Bruce Tillinghast, Gobin was influenced by the restaurant’s emphasis on thoughtful, creative Bistro style cuisine using all local ingredients. In 2001, he moved to LA to focus more seriously on traditional French culinary techniques.
an egg frying for a fresh taco
While training, cooking, and working, Gobin LIVED for the fresh, filling, spicy fare of LA taco trucks.
“What I love about them is that they’re so simple. soft warm corn tortilla, meat, onion cilantro and salsa. I think that’s what people like about them too. The meats are front and center. The corn tortillas are also fragrant and supple unlike flour tortillas being much more like white bread. ”
Radishes and limes are essential to Mijo’s fresh, northern Mexican style
He eventually became sous chef at Patina, a refined French restaurant in LA. Then he became the executive chef at the chamberlain hotel in West Hollywood, the only hotel restaurant to be mentioned in the Michelin guide to LA. While he was there, he fell in love with Mexican food and learned all he could from cooks and friends. He and his wife decided to move back to Rhode Island to be closer to family and to buy a home in 2007. There wasn’t much street food here at the time and Peter was making tacos at home for his friends almost weekly.
With Mijos Tacos, Gobin has been able to recreate and add his own innovative style to the taco trucks he encountered in LA. Because of his culinary background, he frequently introduces some French techniques into his specials.
“The creative license we take is usually in the cooking processes for the meats. . . We also use things in the vegetable tacos that you would never find in LA, sweet potato, winter squash, asian yams, swiss chard, green beans, summer squash, green tomatoes, eggplant. That’s honestly what makes it fun for us and maybe where we shine the most, the vegetarian selections and the special meats. If we have pork belly on the menu drop everything.”
Gobin aims to create comfort and community through his inventive, accessible dishes. The goal of Mijos Tacos is “to bring interesting food to people that they might not always try in a comforting fashion. We try to broaden the minds of our customers while giving them the best possible food that they can afford often.” An important element of Mijos Tacos is the close relationships they form with their customers. “I think what sets us apart is our personality. We know all our customers. Most of them we know by their first name. We know what they like and what they do.” Gobin keeps in touch with his customers, and has provided food for their weddings and children’s events even after they’ve moved away from Providence.
Another Happy Customer!
Through their inviting attitude and affordability, Mijos Tacos aspires to create a community out of the wide variety of individuals their menu attracts. The truck itself is an important element in fostering interactions between people, because of the specific experience of eating street food. According to Gobin, “in LA you never sit down to eat tacos. You eat them right at the truck on the counter or on the hood of your car.” For the past five years, Mijos and the other food trucks participating in the Washington Street Food Truck Market have helped cultivate community and interaction downtown through their innovative cuisine.
As the weather gets warmer, come get some tacos and make some friends on your Thursday lunch break in Kennedy Plaza. Check out their menu at mijostacos.com. The full schedule of the Washington Street Food Truck Market can be viewed here.
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