As if owning successful restaurant The Barn Door Steakhouse was not enough, entrepreneur Roy Gillean’s latest venture is a custom designed $150,000 mobile kitchen.
“I had no idea it was going to be that big and tall,” Gillean said. “I could hardly talk (when I saw it). It was just humongous.”
Gillean said he had always wanted a custom trailer and couldn’t think of a better time to build the 42-foot, 8-foot wide and 18,800-pound trailer than during this oil boom.
“It’s a dream kitchen,” he said. “It’s so nice.”
The trailer was completed in October and features air conditioning and a 55-inch flat screen TV with a microphone and sound system.
It runs on a 20 kilowatt diesel generator and also uses propane, he said.
It will be used about 50 percent of the time for private events and 20 percent of the time for disaster relief in Texas and surrounding areas.
“If there’s a disaster in Texas or Oklahoma, for example, we can take our trailer and team and feed about 5,000 people a day for free,” he said.
The remaining 30 percent of time the trailer will be used for teaching, as Gillean often travels to schools in the area.
“It’s good to teach the kids about culinary arts,” he said. “More than just teaching them how to cook I want them to know that being in the food service business is such a great career. My mission is I want them to realize cooking is a lot of fun and can be very lucrative.”
Permian High School senior Isaac Ramos said he was so impressed with the trailer during his culinary class at New Tech Odessa that it encouraged him even more to go into the culinary field.
“It was really nice,” he said. “It made me want a trailer like that.”
Odessa High School senior LeeAnn Borunda said she enjoyed Gillean’s lesson and thought the truck was very convenient for teaching.
“It was pretty nice,” Borunda said. “He showed us how he made the food and can take it any place for his catering. It was cool because other people don’t have that here.”
Permian High Senior Casey Garcia said she loved Gilliam’s hands-on approach to teaching.
“It was really cool,” Garcia said. “He showed us how to do everything and that trailer is awesome. It’s not something you see in Odessa every day.”
Gillean said they are still trying to name the trailer with help from the public on Facebook and he hopes to expand the restaurant’s services with the help of the trailer.
“July 1 through July 8 we close down the Barn Door every year,” Gillean said. “Instead of opening the restaurant, we’re going to open the trailer and leave it parked in the Barn Door parking lot. We’re going to try the concession thing out and see how that works.”