Charlie Saenz, an entrepreneur and recent culinary school graduate, has launched Wheels on Fire Pizza Truck: a food truck with a wood-fired pizza oven that specializes in serving sustainably-raised local food.
November 1, 2014, DENVER/Born and raised in Denver, Charlie Saenz returned to Colorado last year to attend Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts in Boulder. “I practically grew up in my dad’s restaurant, The Gandy Dancer, but I knew I needed to re-learn the basics if I wanted to become a chef.”
Already an successful entrepreneur, Charlie made a career change so he could spend more time with his son, Carlos, 11. After attending Escoffier, working in restaurants and catering events in and around Denver, Charlie has launched a new venture that combines his love of food with a desire to make a more sustainable world for Carlos. “Wheels on Fire is a farm-to-table food truck,” said Charlie. “We’re changing the world, one pizza at a time!”
Wheels on Fire Pizza Truck is 25 feet long, with a dramatic exterior design and a state-of-the-art interior that includes a wood-fired oven fabricated by M Design of Rochester, NY. Charlie worked closely with M Design to create a truck versatile enough to produce traditional pizzas and Latin street food, like Cuban sandwiches and other specialties. The truck’s wood-fired oven is so efficient, it can bake an entire pizza in just 70 seconds.
Whenever possible, Wheels on Fire Pizza Truck uses sustainably-raised natural ingredients produced by local suppliers. Charlie operates the truck with two friends he made while working in a local bistro. “We’re bringing new food options to Denver, but we’re offering low prices and decently-sized portions so we can reach a diverse audience,” said Charlie.
Charlie and his team are already serving customers at food truck events and via private catering to boost local awareness before launching a crowdfunding campaign. “Backers will receive cool rewards that show our gratitude,” said Charlie. Rewards start at $25 and range up to $1,000, including perks like T-Shirts, stickers, recipes, and of course, food. Top backers may request a private cooking class or a catered party for 25 people.
- Charlie Saenz