Chef Dereck Ray Washburn began his tasteful expedition when he was only 15 years old and found a passion in a commercial kitchen. In 2015, he made his way into the New Albany community, took one look around and realized that the entire Southern Indiana area was missing a huge opportunity – Taco trucks – and so, the locally famous, Fistful of Tacos was born. Believe it, or not, Chef Dereck Ray and his team started out in only one trailer. They had so much fun with it, they decided to purchase their first food truck. Today, they now have three trucks, a café, a mobile cart and they even offer catering because, according to Chef Dereck Ray, they “almost never say no to an invitation.” A majority of the time, Fistful of Tacos is booked up! It’s safe to say that it’s a good idea to book them early for your upcoming event.
“Most food trucks begin as a long-term plan to eventually open a brick and mortar. That’s not out vision. We have systemized and nearly perfected our food truck operation. While our store supports the trucks, the food trucks are the heart and soul,” Chef Dereck Ray said.
Whether you’re enjoying Fistful of Tacos at a festival, an event or even at their café, you’re sure to find (or love) their most popular items: The UGLY, The PESKY and Street Corn Salsa! The UGLY is a taco filled with their signature Bourbon Braised Pork which is cooked in a three-step process that roughly takes 24 hours. First, they cube raw pork shoulder, season it with their house seasoning and then roast it until it’s crispy. Then they add liquid and cook it overnight. While the pork is shredded, they add a tasty orange bourbon glaze. The PESKY is actually Chef Dereck Ray’s favorite! It is one of the newest menu items and it begins with a jalapeño cream cheese and their scallop ceviche. This taco is topped with cilantro, toasted almonds and Thai chili salsa. Definitely a unique, but delicious taco! Next up is the Street Corn Salsa – with chips, of course! This is a take on Mexican street corn which is, traditionally, corn on the cob roasted on an open fire and covered in mayo, sour cream or a mix of the two. In the end, it is topped with cotija, cilantro and a variety of other spices. Fistful of Tacos takes all of these flavorful ingredients and blends them into a salsa and serve it with chips.
“One word that describes our food is bold. We cook with big flavors and we are obsessive over proper seasoning. We believe everything on our menu should excite all five tastes: salt, acidity, bitter, sweet and umami (savory),” Chef Dereck Ray said.
Not only do they try to appeal to all of our palates, they even enjoy it! Chef Dereck Ray and his team love to play with new ingredients and even the most unexpected ones. Although, upon first glance, some will expect an authentic Mexican menu, they really like to present tacos to their clients with “no strings attached and no boundaries to conform to.”
Their storefront offers a few options available for kids and they even offer shaved ice! Their shaved ice flavors come from New Orleans and are made with real sugarcane. They offer over 50 flavors in house. While their food trucks don’t offer kids options, Chef Dereck Ray says that chips and queso are always a kid favorite. Also, at their storefront where Fistful of Tacos has recently received their beer license, they will be expanding their menu in order to compliment the beers they will be offering. Don’t have time to eat in? Call in an order and get it to-go!
Hosting a huge event and need to figure out how to feed everyone? No worries! Fistful of Tacos has you covered! Whether it’s a wedding, corporate catering or a small get-together, Chef Dereck Ray and his team are sure to take care of you!
“No matter what you’re planning, call us first! We cater parties from 10 people to 5,000 people. We do custom quotes, have competitive pricing and make custom menus depending on customer needs and budget,” Chef Dereck Ray said.
Looking to catch them at an upcoming festival? You can find them at Knobfest on August 17th, Lanesville Heritage 2019, at the Jeffersonville Riverstage every Friday night, at the New Albany Farmers Market every Saturday and across from Baptist Health Floyd every Thursday! For more places to find their trucks, visit their website: Fistfuloftacos.com!
Whether you are drawn to Fistful of Tacos because of the ongoing loop of Clint Eastwood films, the over-sized Connect-4 board or their delicious food, the passionate, hard-working staff is sure to have something for everyone! Stop in and visit them today at 2708 Paoli Pike, New Albany. They are open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. They are closed on Mondays. Looking to contact them about catering? Call them at 812-557-0226. Don’t forget to keep up with them on Facebook and Instagram as well!