Ode to Le Van Rouge

September 2010 · Chef John Reed, CEC, CCA

To all those FFT catering warriors of old who remember the Red Van also know to be loved as “Le Van Rouge”, it is with my deepest sentiment I have had to pull her off life support. Her days are done.

I kept her on life support as long as I could. Her heart was replaced her joints and shoulders mended many times and she kept going until the end. It wasn’t her nervous and immune systems that didn’t run cold nor hot in any season. It wasn’t her eye-sight with a cracked lens. It wasn’t that she was bad of hearing as she only heard one staticky radio station. It wasn’t that many of her doors failed to open. It most certainly wasn’t the many boughts of food poisoning from the countless spills in the back and on the seat’s and carpets. It was ultimately her brain that wouldn’t allow her to pass the smoker’s lung state emissions test that took her down. She had a mind of her own at the end. A bi-polar dash-board that wanted to operate on her terms and but her alter ego thought is was fine to work on some occasions when she felt like it. I still to this day don’t know how many miles she had on her. A month of driving on a gas gauge based on gut instinct and how far you had to drive was challenging but it does separate the men from the boys.

So to immortalize her, I have asked the catering god’s to have mercy on her soul and to spread her spirit over the city in places that she served us well. So as you drive around the city remember her at the places of “catering lore”

  • In the pot holes on Lake Shore Drive that you know Victor or Juan Carlos hit as they had to get those missing bread baskets down town ASAP
  • The alley behind the Cultural Center with the rats and countless gallons of used tenderloin grease.
  • The Dock at the Field
  • In Lake Michigan behind the Adler
  • Some where on Route 41 on the way to Thunderhawk. It think it is the spot where it stopped to assist the drivers in getting ready for the event with alcohol or herb
  • The Parking lot on Ridgeway and Lunt
  • There are many other spots around the city that I have failed to say but those of you out there know where they are and what  occurred.

So in the end my $1.00 yes $1.00 purchase which was kept together in spirit and limited funds failed of old age. She will always have a place in my heart.

Via Le Van Rouge!!!

John Reed
Chef John Reed, CEC, CCA
John Reed is a professional chef with over 30 years experience. John has extensive knowledge of culinary techniques, ethnic cuisines, food history and more!

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