Blue Chip Casino Hotel and Spa's food truck, King of the Road, has taken it from the streets to the television screen.
The mobile restaurant was recently featured on the Cooking Channel show "Carnival Eats," filmed at the LaPorte County Fair.
For the Nov. 2 segment, hosted by Noah Cappe, Blue Chip's Executive Chef Nic Manning created his popular Deep Fried Lobster Mac and Cheese Bites.
"We knew that would blow them away," said Jack Elia, assistant general manager at Blue Chip. Elia was both surprised and excited when the Cooking Channel called "out of the clear blue" to book the segment.
"I'm a fan of the show," said Elia. "I watch it all the time."
Purchased in 2015, the 32-foot-long King of the Road regularly makes its slow but steady journey to county fairs and festivals all over the map. The truck is also available for parties, reunions, weddings and other events.
The King of the Road menu changes all the time, but typically includes a variety of delectable tastes, reflective of Blue Chip's various dining options (William B's Steakhouse, Options Buffet, The Game, It's Vegas Baby and Nelson's Deli).
As the only food truck related to a hotel-casino property in Indiana, it's "a good reminder" for locals of Blue Chip's delicious restaurants and a way to bring a taste of Blue Chip to people throughout the mid-west.
"From the food truck to fine dining, we have something that fits onto every one of the niches," said Chef Manning. "The options are diversified, but we do what we do well."
Manning has a background in fine dining, and worked in high-end restaurants in Germany and France before coming to Blue Chip, where he oversees the property's food program. He loves working on the food truck, but admits it has its challenges.
"You’ve got to be kind of creative sometimes," said Manning, explaining, "the space isn't always there, and I'm a little bit of a bigger guy so there's a little bit less movement than in a regular kitchen."
The truck can get very hot in the summertime and reached 105 degrees when its exhaust fans were turned off for the filming of "Carnival Eats."
Even so, Manning considers working on the food truck to be a great deal of fun. He loves going on the road and interacting with guests.
"It's so open and they're watching you cook," said Manning. "It just sort of lends itself to it."
Whether traveling or in the casino, Manning's goal is always the same: "Cooking and making people happy with food."