It all started with an ice cream van.

We attended The Job Centre Pub’s Kitchen Hijack last Thursday to check out the fifth street food vendor to take over the kitchen at the Deptford pub: The Cheese Truck.

The Cheese Truck’s Matt, and man-behind-the-scenes chef Alex, treated us to a Cropwell Bishop Stilton and sweet cure bacon and pear chutney grilled cheese sandwich; and a Rosary Goat’s Cheese with honey, walnuts and rosemary butter grilled sandwich; plus fondue fries – made with Somerset cider, a combination of cheeses, lemon juice and topped with spring onion, chives and deep fried cheese curds. Bliss.

Our vote went to the goat’s cheese, initially hit with the rosemary, the subtle walnuts offered a comforting crunchy texture. And then there’s the goats cheese, soft, with just enough ooze, it’s how I want my goat’s cheese from now on – in between two crispy, thick grilled slices of bread with a hint of honey. Alicia, initially unconvinced by the Stilton sandwich (#bluefear) when I pushed her to share (why try one when you can taste two?) was raving about our little blue friend after the first bite.

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The Job Centre Pub, Deptford

And these are no ordinary cheese toasties, as one local attempted to claim before even putting them to the test. Oh no. Matt admitted that it was tricky to narrow it down to just four of these grilled cheesy treats, the other additions including a stringy Queso Chihuahua with spicy chorizo and rocket and a Keens Cheddar Montgomerys Ogleshield sandwich with mixed onion.

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Keeping it simple

It’s all about the sourcing. Inspired by San Francisco-based Mission Cheese and its celebration of US cheeses, Matt decided to bring the attitude back over the pond, give it a twist, and promote cheeses (and all ingredients) only found in the UK. He takes pleasure in chatting to the goat’s cheese provider about little things like the flavourings to expect each time. Knowing who makes the cheese (even the goats involved) is top of the agenda.

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Share two with a friend for the best of both worlds, we went for the Stilton and Goat’s cheese sandwiches

Just over a year ago Matt, with a little help from his product design degree, converted an old ice cream van into the eponymous truck. However, you’ll rarely see them with the truck in tow, usually rocking up to Maltby Street Market on Saturdays and Sundays, and events like the Job Centre Pub pop-up, minus the accessory.

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The five-week Kitchen Hijack will be back, we’ll keep you posted

You may have even tasted one of their concoctions in a slightly inebriated state at Glastonbury last year, where they sold over 5,000 portions in just four days. And you can thank planning for Glastonbury for The Cheese Truck’s fondue fries. Strolling through Soho two days before heading off to Somerset, musing on how to concoct the best cheesy chips known to man, Matt passed by a fondue place. The idea was born – fondue on chips. Genius.

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This summer, The Cheese Truck will be feeding hungry music lovers at 14 festivals, with the aim to provide the essential home comfort festival food.

Track them down, it’s more than worth the stomp across the mud.

Look out for The Cheese Truck’s pairings with pals Bill or Beak, last seen at Turntable in Hackney Wick, and ready to hit the set again early May. 

We’ll keep you posted about Turntable and the next Kitchen Hijack on Twitter @StreetEatsLDN

Read all about the Kitchen Hijack HERE.

Read Pall Mall Fine Wine (and a bit of Cheese) HERE.

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