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Live Great Food: New Food Truck Features Farm Fresh, International Flavors

Briana Novacek, photos by Andrea Paulseth

FARM FRESH FLAVORS. Tony and Jamie Chavez will bring their Live Great Food truck all over the Valley this summer, with farm-to-fork goodness and a passion for local ingredients.
FARM FRESH FLAVORS. Tony and Jamie Chavez will bring their Live Great Food truck all over the Valley this summer, with farm-to-fork goodness and a passion for local ingredients.

In the Chippewa Valley, we eagerly anticipate the warm months when food trucks suddenly appear with their ready-to-go delights. This year, there’s a brand-new truck on the scene: Live Great Food. It’s run by a married couple, Tony and Jamie Chavez, and their enthusiasm is catching. They have been feeding the Valley for years through catering and cooking classes and are excited about this new venture.

“Our vision for this food truck is to introduce the notion that the best foods are not unattainable to the ‘common man,’ ” Jamie says.

They want to introduce local folks to new, local foods that they haven’t tried before.

“Purchasing our mobile kitchen right before a global health pandemic was not part of the plan. However, we believe one of the positive things that has come from what’s going on right now in the world, is that more people are looking at where their food comes from.” –Jamie Chavez, Live Great Food

“We are inspired by Wisconsin’s beautiful bounty and knowing where our food comes from,” Jamie adds. “We are grateful for our relationships with our farmers, foragers, and small businesses and want to share our love for food with the Chippewa Valley.”

The Chavezes purchased the food truck in March, just days before COVID-19 became a local threat. It was previously owned by Amy Huo as Locavore. When Huo came to the Chavezes saying she was looking at selling and moving, they were elated that their food truck dream could come true, but sad to see Huo go.

“Purchasing our mobile kitchen right before a global health pandemic was not part of the plan,” Jamie says. “However, we believe one of the positive things that has come from what’s going on right now in the world, is that more people are looking at where their food comes from.”

They plan to take extra precautions to protect themselves and their customers, including high sanitation standards, social distancing between waiting customers, and a mobile ordering platform.

Live Great Food’s menu will change based on the freshest available ingredients. One item that they are excited to offer is the Corn (Brat) Dog – a blending of flavors from trusted farmers.

“Tony and our friends at A Butchery Shoppe took all the best parts of an all-beef frank and the deliciousness of the Wisconsin bratwurst and married the two into one,” Jamie explains. “We then bread that majestic sausage in cornmeal that we milled from a dried corn we received from Square Roots Farm and serve it with a Kimchee Catsup.” Try finding that on another menu!

They’re also excited about their Braht Mi, inspired by the traditional Vietnamese street food Banh Mi. “We have thrown a Wisconsin twist on the whole deal, and we made a sausage using Heritage Berkshire Pork from Folkers Farms in Fall Creek,” Jamie says, “ ... then added an herbaceous blend of ingredients and foraged ramps and served it on our homemade pita.”

Tony and Jamie’s four kids are most thrilled to offer cotton candy, which the Chavezes have served at weddings they’ve catered for years.

Supporting local farmers through their food truck is something Tony and Jamie are passionate about, saying that “farms are the soul of a community. There is a real love in small-scale farming.” Through Live Great Food, they would like to raise awareness of “just how dysfunctional the food industry can be and how simple it would be to demand a better option.”

Tony handles much of the culinary side, while Jamie handles many of the other roles. “Getting to do what I love, with the people that I love most is a dream come true,” Jamie says. “And to be honest, I shouldn’t be the only person who gets to be spoiled by Tony’s cooking skills on a regular basis.”


For more information on Live Great Food and Tony’s culinary journey, check out livegreatfood.com. And for info on where they’ll be serving up food next, check out their Facebook page: facebook.com/livegreatfood.