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Hellertown eatery temporarily closed until fall as owner revamps business model, including new food truck

A Hellertown eatery is temporarily closed as it updates its business model.

CHEFstreet Kitchen, a take-out shop offering “next level comfort street food” at 56 W. Water St., temporarily shuttered about a month ago as it “revamps operations and services,” including preparation for a new food truck, owner and chef Joe Stout said.

CHEFstreet Mobile Kitchen, a food truck that will visit breweries, wineries, festivals and other destinations, is expected to debut in September, Stout said.

The take-out eatery will then reopen in the fall with a limited menu that includes a rotating selection of nearly 60 types of scratch-made empanadas, including savory options such as beef and cheese, mac and cheese and lime chorizo and sweet creations such as s’mores, brownie batter and blueberry cream cheese.

Meal prep options, including CHEFbowls featuring an assortment of proteins, vegetables and starches, will be available for grab-and-go and delivery.

“Once the shop is back open, it’s going to be strictly empanadas, rice and beans,” Stout said. “I’ll have some rotating specials, but for the most part, I’ll be focusing on that. Meal prep will come back as a grab-and-go option. So, I’ll have fully cooked, prepared CHEFbowls that’ll be available at the shop.”

CHEFstreet Mobile Kitchen will serve a condensed menu of the business’ most popular items, Stout said, including a rotating selection of empanadas, loaded street nachos, “CHEFtender bowls” (naked or sauce-coated chicken tenders over mac and cheese or potato wedges) and “Phat Subz” (huge sandwiches that Stout dubs “heart attacks on a roll”).

The mobile operation will be available for private and community events.

“When the food truck opens in September, I’m planning to bring it everywhere — breweries, wineries, street events, fundraising events, weddings, corporate lunches and so forth,” Stout said.

Stout, who has been cooking and baking for 25 years, last summer opened CHEFstreet Kitchen on Hellertown’s Water Street after operating out of a commercial kitchen at Hellertown’s Dewey Fire Co. for about six months.

The Phillipsburg resident also operates ChefMeals, a catering and meal prep business with a focus on good nutrition, out of the same Water Sreet space.

He credits family members — his mother, a longtime baker; his grandfather, a chef of 37 years; and his grandmother, a nutritionist and soul food caterer who stopped cooking at the age of 86 — for his passion for preparing a wide assortment of foods.

Before opening his newest venture, Stout also had an assortment of other culinary gigs over the past decade, including sorority house chef at Lehigh University, food services coordinator at the Princeton-Blairstown Center in New Jersey and executive chef at Bowlmor entertainment facility (now known as Bowlero) in North Brunswick, N.J.

He also mentored more than 350 people throughout his career and operated a now-closed downtown Easton sandwich shop, Phat Joe’s Grill and Catering, in 2011 with his brother.

“Working at other places, I was making good money, but I wasn’t always happy because I felt like I wasn’t utilizing my experience to the best of my ability,” Stout told The Morning Call last year. “So, I decided to take a risk and do something on my own.”

Chefmeals also offers kids cooking parties, adult cooking socials and chef consulting services for start-ups and established food businesses.

To stay up-to-date on CHEFstreet Kitchen’s changes, follow the business’ social media pages, facebook.com/happychefmealsLLC and instagram.com/_chefmeals.