by Chené Koscielny
If you fancy yourself a bit of an Asian food ‘gourmand’, join the lunchtime queue of bankers and lawyers at one of the hippest food trucks in town for a delicious chicken or tofu Pad Thai or a spicy beef Pho soup or dhal with a tasty homemade chapatti.
Debi’s kitchen is one of the 10 food trucks circulating on the Ville de Geneva’s official food truck circuit every week. Raised by a Vietnamese mother and a Swiss father, Debi grew up in Asia and arrived in Switzerland in 1985. She has always loved eating and cooking and has a passion for healthy, quality Asian food.
After studying at the hotel school in Lausanne, Debi worked in marketing positions for multinationals for a while. She also holds a qualification as a master “Crêpier” and has completed ‘stages’ in cupcake decorating, bread-making and raw and vegan cuisine.
When she had children and her son Elio had to eat gluten and lactose free food, Debi struggled to find quality, healthy fresh food. She saw the gap for trendy, quality, healthy Asian food in Geneva. “I was convinced that there was a market for quality food on the street,” says Debi, a single mum.
Inspired by Malaysian street food of her youth
Inspired by the Malaysian street food of her youth, where delicious satay dishes are grilled on the spot by street vendors with well-equipped bikes, she decided to invest in a food truck. Debi was awarded one of 10 food truck spots on the Ville de Geneva circuit in 2014 for an 18-month period and has since been given a place on the new circuit from March 2016 until 2020.The best-selling item on the menu is the Pad Thai (see my review below) and her menu changes weekly.
High-end events, weddings and a restaurant
The business has exploded and Debi now employs 2 full-time staff and three to four freelancers to help staff the food truck five days a week and lend a hand during weddings and other events. She serves alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and a selection of delicious homemade patisseries, desserts and crêpes during the events. In 2016, Debi’s kitchen catered for the year-end function of Harley Davidson with an impressive menu of scallop sashimi with capers, onion and olive oil; organic shrimp lightly sautéed with ginger and a chicken satay. Meanwhile, Debi has already acquired premises for a restaurant in Meyrin and is in the process of raising funds for this project. She plans to open her restaurant at the start of 2018.
I tried Debi’s chicken Pad Thai with my daughter, a pretty fussy eater, and we both loved the crunchy, delicate mix of rice noodles, Swiss chicken, mung beans and spring onions. I will definitely be back for more…
The Pad Thai main course cost 15chf for a very generous portion. We couldn’t finish it.
A homemade dessert costs 4-5chf and a homemade lemonade 4chf.
Where you can find Debi’s kitchen:
Monday 11:30 – 13:30: Carrefour de Jonction (TPG 2, 3, 4, 7, 10 arrêt Jonction)
Tuesday 11:30 – 13:30: Rue Varembé – Ave de France (TPG 5, 8, 11, 15, 22, arrêt Nations)
Wednesday 11:30 – 13:30: Rue Kazem Radjavi – at the end of the street (TPG 11, 28 arrêt Rigot)
Thursday 11:30 – 13:30: Place Bel-Air (TPG 2, 3, 4,5, 7, 10, 14, 18, 19, arrêt Bel-Air)
Friday 11:30 – 13:30: Place Simon Goulart (TPG 3, 5, 10, 14, 18, 19 arrêt Coutance)
To find out more about Debi’s kitchen visit her website.