The Mighty Dumpling: the Wandering Chef Food Truck’s long-standing line

The Mighty Dumpling: the Wandering Chef Food Truck’s long-standing line
October 19 10:04 2015 Print This Article

A mob of University of Delaware Students line up between classes to get something awesome to eat from the Wondering Chef Food Cart

At University of Delaware on Amstel Avenue between Purnell and Smith halls sits Mike and Lauren Blovad’s food truck: The Wandering Chef. A University of Delaware staple for a little more than five years, 250 students a day stand in line to purchase The Wandering Chef’s  Asian-Cuban fusion fare.  Their smallest item, the dumpling, is their biggest draw, but people come for the dumpling and stay for the sauces.  Chef Mike creates his forever changing menu of fresh finds from local markets including his, now famous, dumpling burrito: a rice bowl with chicken or pork and dumplings wrapped in a burrito. As Lauren says, “ It’s hard to predict what’s going to be popular. Yesterday, we ran out of lo mein by one.” However, one thing they can always predict is the dumplings. “They are small but mighty,” Lauren laughs.


The 6-by-4-by-8-foot cart is as small as the dumplings, but just as mighty. Designed and engineered by Chef Mike to meet University of Delaware’s food truck pilot program tough standards, the Blovad’s move from Northern New Jersey to Delaware was serendipitous. After years of working as a Chef for Met Life Stadium, Mike knew it was time to move on. He always dreamed of owning a food truck, “So, we looked up and down the east coast. Each state has their own rules for food trucks. Delaware’s was one of the most liberal. I called up University of Delaware, and it turned out they had a pilot food truck program.” In order to be approved for the program, Mike had to not only create a truck with the correct specs, he also needed to serve international food so that he didn’t compete with the University’s dining services. Lucky for the students at UD, international food was right up Chef Mike’s alley._MG_0053


The Wandering Chef doesn’t stop at the corner of Amstel and South College, they’ve added a second cart on South Campus in front of Townsend Hall and they also do catering. While their cart focuses on Asian Cuban fusion, their catering business expands to other cuisines: Comfort Food, Pacific Rim, Mediterranean and Southwestern.  Their customer-focused catering ensures that they maintain their high standards while giving customers the moderately priced menu they desire.
When students and faculty have minutes to eat, the Wandering Chef is the perfect place to go.  Even when customers find themselves in a long winding line past Purnell Hall, listening to students comment, “those yucca things are delicious.” or hearing Lauren remind everyone to “hold the container straight, so you don’t wear the sauce,” the line moves fast, the food is fresh, and the Jasmine Cranberry tea is free. Because, even on the run, dumplings are meant to be an experience.

Written by Shoshana Kohn Editor in Chief

Written by Shoshana Kohn
Editor in Chief