The Flying Deutschman just made a landing outside the Tyler School of Art.
An authentic German street food truck, The Flying Deutschman has visited multiple counties in Pennsylvania and New Jersey and recently secured a spot on Main Campus.
Head chef and truck owner Stirling Sowerby, who was born and raised in Germany, worked as a DJ before deciding to move to America and immerse himself in the cuisine scene – but he said owning a food truck wasn’t part of his original plan.
While he thought the cost of a truck would be less expensive than a full-fledged restaurant, he figured some technical issues might complicate things.
“Plus, most food trucks have the funny colors with silly sausages or hamburgers on them,” Sowerby said. “They have an appeal on the outside, but then when you come up to the trucks, the entertainment ends there.”
“[The Flying Deutschman] isn’t just about the food, it is about the entertainment that comes with it,” he added. “I wanted to build a theme around the name and have something that catches people’s eyes with a strong theme.”
Sowerby said he wants to offer customers the chance to experience authentic German food in a “fun and entertaining” atmosphere. Some German-American customers tell him food from The Flying Deutschman reminds them of the food in Germany, he said.
In fact, Sowerby said preparing the German street food allows him to recall memories of his own childhood. The chef’s personal favorites are the kartoffel salad, a house made potato salad, and the Currywurst, which consists of steamed and fried pork sausages seasoned with curry ketchup, he said.
His assistant chef, John Sekel, is a culinary student at Walnut Hill College.
“A restaurant forces you to be in the same place everyday,” Sekel said. “The food truck adds fun that a restaurant can’t.”
Sowerby is currently developing a website for The Flying Deutschman and wants to install a GPS tracking device so customers can see where the truck is located at all times.
“I want people to eat the food and be shocked it was made on just this truck,” Sowerby said. “I want people to think ‘mobile restaurant’ – not just a food truck.”
The truck will make a return to Main Campus, more specifically in front of the Tyler, in February.
“I have been waiting for the Flying Deutschman to come back to campus ever since I saw the truck last week,” Erich Martin, a junior journalism major, said.
Sowerby said he owes thanks to Debbie Dasani, owner of Samosa Deb Gourmet Indian Cuisine, who began sharing her space in front of Tyler with The Flying Deutschman this semester.
“I love how the truck looked like something someone put a lot of time into,” said Bryn Conlan, a junior art history major. “I can’t wait to try the food.”
Sowerby said he thinks of the food truck as “an adventure with more adrenaline.”
Charlotte Reese can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org