Le camion chef á porter


July, 2019

Never give up: an old Citroën completely restored accompanies Bianca in street food art.

An old 1954 Citroën retrieved in Calais, in the north of France, completely restored and widely personalized, is ready to start a new life, the trendy «street food» life. It sure turns heads, as it is hard not to notice it. Parked in some of the most exclusive locations in the small villages that overlook the wonderful shores of Lake Orta and Lake Maggiore, the truck is painted a beautiful dark green with cream sections, rich in refined and unique vintage details, for a fascinating result.

«I found it in Calais, and as soon as I saw it, I fell in love with it, maybe because it was so ugly and in such bad condition that it looked like a chicken coop... But I saw its huge potential, despite its rather unpleasant appearance». The story of Bianca Avallone, a former commercial manager at a printing company turned into a «chef á porter», mirrors the story of her most recent creation: «As it often happens nowadays, the company I was working for went through a rough period, about five years ago, and as a consequence I had to reinvent my job, my life... And so I did, starting from my greatest passion, cooking». After moving the truck to Italy with some difficulty, as it didn't even have an engine and it had to be towed, «Le Camion» needed a lot of care and endless passion. «I lost count of the hours I spent cleaning it, scratching it, painting it. Day and night, for whole months». With the help of her brother and a friend working as a mechanic, «that old Citroën» is now a symbol of the desire for redemption and the will not to surrender in the face of the difficulties of life. And it is in excellent condition, appearing more magnificent than ever. Inside, the truck is set up with everything for the new business: «There are stoves, a grill, a fryer, two beer dispensers and a fantastic tap that Nobili created specifically for me...».

The old Citroën gives off an inviting smell, arousing the curiosity as well as the appetite, and attracting dozens of people every day. The gourmet sandwiches offered by Bianca contain only a few ingredients, as «genuine and precious» as possible. Particular attention is paid to the typical products of the area: stewed peppers and onions, pure Piedmontese beef, bred in the nearby area or in the Cuneo area, scamorza from local farms, home-made bread. The quality of the raw material is unequalled, as is the passion put into the preparation of the food, as Bianca proudly points out: «I let the frayed beef cook 20 hours, sometimes even more if I am not happy with the result... and I use a crock pot to maintain the flavours as unaltered as possible. Tasting is believing».

This is the most important recipe for «street food», perhaps the oldest form of cuisine that has been growing strongly in recent times, so much that it is now increasingly present in summer festivals around the world. Bianca lives in a small town in the province of Novara, but her roots go much further south, all the way to the Amalfi Coast: the new sandwich for summer 2019 pays a homage to her roots, with octopus, stewed endive and burrata cream... The perfect union between the northern cuisine of Cusio and the Amalfi Coast tradition: «I tried to mix my past and present into one flavour, the land I come from and the land where I live, almost to create a sort of link between the two parts of the world where my roots are». Bianca's artistic creativity finds a perfect match in her great enthusiasm and the neverending desire to constantly experiment, and try, new flavours.

Marco Venzano, Nobili creative director, said: «Nobili Rubinetterie is very happy to have helped Bianca in following her dream, albeit to a small extent, by providing her with a mixer designed and created specifically for her. Her story, and that of her «old Citroën», sounds like a fairy tale that you tell children, a real example of how to face the difficulties of life without giving up». Nobili helped make Bianca's job easier with a single-control flush fit mixer for the sink, small in size and with a foldable spout, so that it can fit inside the sink and the top is free to be used as a work area. The small dimensions of the mixer were made possible thanks to the Nobili Widd® 28 immersion cartridge, with a mere 28 millimetres diameter, a cutting-edge technology that contributed to the creation of very high quality mixers. The story of Bianca and her Citroën teaches us that dreams aren't a pure act of immagination: real dreams take work, they take patience, and sometimes they require you to use maximum courage.