Various food trucks have been a staple across campus for years now. The trucks come and go, adapting to the tastes of the students at Auburn. However, for the third full year now, one truck, in particular, continues to shine.
Starting in Atlanta, Dimaculangan climbed the hierarchy of the kitchen. From regular kitchen work to sous chef, Dimaculangan had reached the top of the culinary kingdom. But he wanted something else.
“I had experience in the restaurant industry and just saw food trucks as a way to start my own business without all the involvement that goes into starting your own restaurant,” Dimaculangan said.
Always interested in food, Dimaculangan admits that he never really got into culinary arts until after he graduated college. It is later that Dimaculangan decided on
“Well first of all, because I’m a fan of it [hibachi],” Dimaculangan said.
However, his liking for it was not his main reason. Dimaculangan went on to explain the need for a restaurant of his kind.
“When you open a restaurant, you see a void, and you try to fill it,” Dimaculangan said. “Honestly, I had never seen a hibachi truck before, so I was trying to fill a void.”
The orange food truck was formerly known as the “General Lee Hibachi Truck” but has since been shortened to the “Hibachi Truck.” The previous name, an intended “tongue-in-cheek” combination of “Lee” being a common surname in Asian countries and the orange paint job of the food truck akin to the iconic “General Lee” car in the popular ‘80s television show, “The Dukes of Hazard.”
While some speculate the name change is associated with the nation’s recent turmoil regarding representation of Confederate monuments and historical figures, Dimacaulangan said otherwise.
Dimaculangan attributes the name change to simply being a personal choice.
“It was more of a need for a fresh start,” Dimaculangan said. “When you own a business you have to make changes and evolve as time progresses.”
Dimaculangan is currently trying to secure a new name and branding but wants to wait to register it across all social media before he announces it. Therefore, for now, the “Hibachi Truck” will serve as the interim name.
As for the future, the nearly constant popularity of the food truck on the Auburn campus seems to have the “Hibachi Truck” on a successful trajectory. “It all depends on the taste of the students,” Dimaculangan said. “The students’ tastes tend to evolve, three or four years ago many students gravitated toward tacos, and as the food truck industry grew, students started to experiment with other cuisines.”
Dimaculangan is not afraid to adapt and tweak his business in order to appease the wants and needs of the Auburn student body.
“If I see something lacking, I’m going to try and fill it,” said Dimaculanagan.
After a variety of successful food truck ventures in Atlanta, Dimaculangan was contacted by Auburn University representatives to bring his expertise and skill to The Plains.