The food truck revolution has seen the humble taco truck transform into a transcendent culinary experience on wheels. What started as a very American phenomenon has reached global proportions with food truck festivals in Melbourne, Cape Town and even Dubai; so it should come as no surprise that the French have embraced the food truck as their own. Peugeot, best known for their cars and pepper mills, will launch a luxury food truck to represent French innovation at the French Pavilion of the 2015 World’s Fair. Debuting during Milan design week, Le Bistrot du Lion will open its (car) doors for service next week.
Designed by Peugeot Design Lab, Le Bistrot goes beyond the typical food truck as mobile kitchen by creating an immersive experience by folding out into, “an amphitheatre like dining space,” explained Cathal Loughnane, head of PDL. With seating for 30, the open-air pop-up restaurant also includes a 46-inch screen allowing diners to watch their food being prepared while a serious soundsystem, provided by French speaker-maker Focal, broadcasts both the sizzle and the soundtrack.
A multi-functional kitchen featuring grilling plates, induction burners and a deep fryer makes up the heart of the kitchen. While food is kept in a 400-litre refrigerated under-foot compartment, beverages stay cool in the 350-litre refrigerator. And there’s also an espresso machine for a post-meal pick-me-up.
While the food truck will be the most visible Peugeot product on show, the salt and pepper mills might steal the scene. Debuting with Le Bistrot, the Milan set is the first mass-market mill designed by Peugeot Design Lab. Manufactured in eastern France, they are made with beech wood locally sourced in Franche-Comté forests and boast the unique U-Select system, which allows the user to precisely adjust the size—and thus taste—of the grounds using six size settings.
For over two centuries Peugeot has been a standard for French manufacturing excellence. In 1810, the Peugeot family converted their grain mill to begin manufacturing saws. In 1818, the family patented its award-winning saw manufacturing process and by 1824, the company had diversified to a range of steel products including corset boning and springs. In 1840, the first coffee mills were introduced and in 1874, the Peugeot model Z pepper mill, whose mechanism still carries a lifetime warranty, entered the market. It wasn’t until 1890 that Armand Peugeot introduced their first petrol-driven car.
During Salone and the Expo, Chef Sven Chartier of Saturne and Le Clown Bar in Paris will be helming the food truck. Stay tuned as we head to Milan next week for a taste test and follow the truck with the hashtag #FoodTruckPeugeot