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New Vancouver food truck shares love of flavours and video games

The chef behind 8bite was a lawyer in Chile a few years ago

Ever wanted to give up on your job and follow your passion?

That's what Jorge Tuane did, the man behind one of Vancouver's newest food truck, 8bite.

At 30 he was a lawyer in Chile, but had come to a dead-end.

"I was done improving myself as a lawyer, I was never going to go further to improve myself as a lawyer," he tells Vancouver is Awesome.

Looking for a new direction, he had a passion for food and a friend in Vancouver, so he decided to head north.

"I was flirting with the idea (of coming to Vancouver), so when I visited him I scouted out the culinary schools here," Tuane says. "I thought 'This is actually doable.'

"So I sold my car, saved up, and moved here and never looked back."

At first it was tough, going through culinary school and entering the food industry.

"Even though you get out of culinary school you don't know much, you know very little and you're probably very horrible at what you do," he says of his early days as a chef. "Not everyone, there are talented people out there. But I wasn't one of them."

But he kept at it and improved himself all the time, struggling at times while working in fine dining. He figures he lost at least 12 lbs. during this time. Then it started to pay dividends.

"If you keep at it long enough you're going to improve somehow. If you have the grind and have the drive you will," he says.

He started moving up the industry, and then 2020 happened. He decided his time in the fine-dining world was over and wanted to work on his own thing. That's what 8bite is. The video game-themed food trailer looks back at the early days of games, like early Mario games or Pacman.

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"It's basically referencing that era where video game developers had very little technology to work with but put out outstanding things. games that are very memorable with the music as well," Tuane says, noting he's been a long-time gamer. "The details that are behind it are very intricate if you look for them."

He wanted to take that concept and apply it to the food he makes.

"So the whole point is to put out that feeling with the food," he says. "It's not complicated food, it's just simple and well done."

Right now he's renting a food trailer and running service once a week. He's the only person working on the food, with his wife helping out with service.

"This is basically a testing out, you can call it the 8bite beta test," he says. "We're testing it out, seeing how it's received. We're basically tweaking everything."

Right now they have four sandwiches and an ice cream as their specialties. Tuane is particularly proud of his Cubano.

"I couldn't find a good bread out there; I"m very proud of that bread recipe, it took me a long time to get it," he says, noting it's a 100 per cent 8bite. The buns for the other sandwiches are outsourced, but he makes most of the other ingredients.

There are also a pair of bahn mi (one pork, the other vegan).

"I never had a bahn mi until I came to live here. I had it when I was 30 and I was blown away by it. I thought it was outstanding, it was so so good," he says. "I had to make one."

Dessert is something inspired by Chile; it's a lucuma ice cream treat.

"The ice cream itself is in between butterscotch and maple syrup. It has an unusual taste," he says (something he notes he likes experimenting with). It goes great with strawberry and meringue."

While that's the menu for now, he's working on other ideas, including something with beef. 

These days 8bite can be found once a week, at Jonathan Rogers Park in Mount Pleasant Fridays from 12 to 8 p.m. or until they're sold out. Other updates will be sent via Instagram.