Desmond Brown’s grandparents owned the first preschool on John’s Island. “As a young kid, I spent a lot of time in the kitchen with Mrs. May, the school’s cook,” says Brown, owner of Geechee Island Food Truck. “I was a behavior problem at times, so the teacher would send me there to keep me in line. I used to love sitting there absorbing all the unbelievable smells of collards, green beans, and lima beans. She made some of the best food I’ve ever tasted.” When Brown wasn’t in culinary time-out, he spent afternoons at his grandparents’ farm on the island, where they raised pigs and chickens. “After church on Sundays, we would all eat together and my grandmother and aunts would handle all the cooking.” It’s these slow food experiences he brings behind the wheel of his food truck. Today, he likes to say he serves Lowcountry cuisine his way. “I like to cultivate it, change it, and make it healthier,” he says. The result? Recipes like collards, cabbage, and shrimp over rice, “but in a taco.” By the looks of the crowds who line up for lunch, his way is certainly working.
Best Bites: Shrimp perloo
Facebook: Geechee Island Food Truck